Former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is free to sign with any NFL team after the Vikings released him on Thursday.
Sports Illustrated’s Connor Orr thinks the Bengals are the eighth-best landing spot for the talented back among all NFL teams.
“The Bengals have not yet separated with Joe Mixon, and, while they are unlikely to commit big salaries to a pair of running backs, the loss of Samaje Perine put the team in a difficult position,” Orr wrote.
“Perine was one of the most dependable passing-down backs in the NFL and was targeted 51 times last season by Joe Burrow. Cook took in 56 targets a year ago and could handle the passing load, even if he might be a bit less effective as a specialist and red-zone threat.”
“At the end of the day, moves like this signify a willingness to get into an arms race. With the Eagles a year ago, we saw how important their willingness to make big free-agent acquisitions was. This could provide a similar payoff for the Bengals.”
Cook ranked 27th among qualified running backs in PFF receiving grade last season (62.2) and showed to be more elusive than Mixon. He checked in at a solid 26th in elusive rating (61.3) to Mixon’s 57th overall ranking out of 62 qualified running backs (31.3 elusive rating).
Financially it’s a bit of a tough sell if he is looking for a multi-year deal but on a one-year contract, the Bengals could cut Mixon and slot the majority of that money for Cook.
Here are the top-10 landing spots from Orr:
1. Miami Dolphins
2. New York Jets
3. Dallas Cowboys
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Cleveland Browns
6. Baltimore Ravens
7. New York Giants
8. Cincinnati Bengals
9. Carolina Panthers
10. Buffalo Bills