The Minnesota Vikings released All-Pro running back Dalvin Cook today, making him one of if not the highest profile free agent available in the NFL. Does it make sense for the Texans to sign?
The Houston Texans have done an incredible job revamping their entire roster this offseason. From bringing in DeMeco Ryans as head coach, resigning All-Pro Left Tackle Laremy Tunsil, drafting the franchise quarterback CJ Stroud, number two in the draft, and trading up to select the face of the defense in Will Anderson Jr., the Texans have added star power all the way around.
The Texans have sent the same message with each move; they are ready to win now. They finalized that notion when they shipped their 2023 first-round selection to the Arizona Cardinals for the right to draft Anderson, too.
Could Dalvin Cook be next in line for Houston? Recently, we looked at the potential trade market for star defenders such as Quinnen Williams, Chase Young, and Danielle Hunter. Cooks would come without the need to sacrifice any draft capital. We have already discussed the potential signing of former Texan DeAndre Hopkins; why not Cook?
The Texans have a star running back of their own.
Well, for starters, the Texans already boast a potential top-five running back in the second-year starter Dameon Pierce. They already added Buffalo Bills leading rusher Devin Singletary too. Head coach DeMeco Ryans gushed over Pierce in a recent post-practice press conference.
""Dameon has been consistent all offseason. Been here every day, brings tremendous energy every day. I am excited for the season he will have ahead of him.""- Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans
While he has had an incredible career so far in Minnesota, Cook was cut for a reason. More importantly, he was released by a head coach, Kevin O'Connell, who stems from the same Shanahan tree Texans' new offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik comes from. If O'Connell doesn't believe the 27-year-old veteran fits in the scheme anymore, should the Texans?
Playing devil's advocate here, the Texans could use Amh and all the elite talent they can get their hands on for either side of the ball. If they want to build a Super Bowl roster, adding elite talent is the quickest way to accomplish that goal. The Vikings are headed towards a rebuild, and paying a veteran running back anything north of $10M a year simply isn't going to cut it.
This brings me to my last point. Similar to the Texans' most significant appeal to current free agent DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans would have to pay Dalvin Cook more money than a contending team to convince him Houston is a place for him to be. While the Texans have $17M in available cap space, investing in an aging running back doesn't fit the current timeline. Along with that contract, bringing in a veteran like Cook would force Pierce to take a backseat. This would severely hinder his development as a pro.
The Texans are in year two of a massive rebuild. There are better times to spend big on aging running backs. Teams going all in, like the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, or Baltimore Ravens, can splurge for an All-Pro running back that takes them over the top and brings home a ring.
The Texans aren't one more playmaker away from a Super Bowl, despite what hopes Robert Woods has given the franchise. Adding a running back with four straight thousand-yard seasons would help this franchise in the short term, but Cook wouldn't help this franchise in the long run.
The Houston Texans and Dalvin Cook do not make sense, and that's okay. Let's continue this roster rebuild and bring in the right players. What do you think? How would you feel if the Texans signed the former Vikings star? Let us know in the comments below or follow us on Twitter. You can find us @Texans_TTor @manfreonair.