News | Minnesota Vikings –

Long-term Contract Offers Cook 'Surreal Moment'

EAGAN, Minn. — A little after 11 a.m. Saturday, the Vikings announced a multi-year contract extension for Dalvin Cook.

Roughly 24 hours later, the Vikings running back was getting ready for Week 1 against the Packers.

And on Monday, Cook reflected on a whirlwind past few days.

"It's still a surreal moment, signing that deal and making the dream come true," Cook said. "I didn't actually have time to enjoy it, but just getting ready and preparing for a game and knowing that situation resolved itself was enough for me at the moment.

"I enjoyed it with my teammates. They congratulated me. Everybody around the facility did," Cook added. "That was big."

Cook noted that he preferred to get the deal done before Sunday's kickoff so that he could focus entirely on football.

"Being in Minnesota was always important to me with the guys I've built the relationships with and just being around the guys in the locker room and everybody in Minnesota," Cook said. "I love being here. That was important for me to get that done [so] I could just go out and play football.

"That was important, getting that done before the season so I could just turn it loose," Cook added.

The 41st overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Cook has proven to be one of the league's most effective running backs when he's on the field.

Although he battled injury issues in his first two seasons he put it all together with a Pro Bowl year in 2019. He rushed for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns on 250 carries, and also added 53 catches for 519 yards through the air.

View photos of Vikings RB Dalvin Cook signing his multi-year contract extension with the team.

Yet as he entered the final season of his rookie contract, it was public knowledge that the Vikings and Cook's representation were trying to work together on a new deal.

Nevertheless, Cook showed up for training camp with a team-first attitude and put in the work each day to help get him prepared for the 2020 season and beyond.

"I started playing football when I was 4 years old," Cook said. "To get to this point and see all the obstacles that I've been through – getting injured and just watching football and taking a step back from it to now being here, it just shows that if you keep working hard, there's a prize at the end of the road.

"Just put your head down and work," Cook added. "That's what I did every day, and I'm still going to do."

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who officially named Cook as one of six team captains last week, said he is thrilled the running back is staying up north.

"Like I've said all along, he's a terrific football player, great person, good leader," Zimmer said. "He runs extremely hard, catches the ball well. I'm glad."

Cook had a productive season debut despite limited opportunities Sunday. He played 30 of Minnesota's 52 offensive snaps against the Packers, rushing 12 times for 50 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Cook also added a pair of 2-point conversions.

The Vikings held the ball for just 18 minutes and 44 seconds, and had 382 total yards of offense.

"Obviously, we didn't get the win, and that's the most important thing," Cook said. "But I tried to keep fighting for my team and keep helping us in the game.

"We had some guys making plays; we just didn't make enough," Cook added. "That's what we've got to go back and evaluate. I just tried to give my team a chance to win a football game."

Cook will be counted upon to help turn things around for the Vikings beginning Sunday in Indianapolis.

But after signing his multi-year contract extension, he'll also be one of the faces of the franchise for the foreseeable future, too.

View the best photos of Dalvin Cook so far in his career. The running back recently signed a contract extension with the team.

And he embraces the expectations that lay ahead.

"Every day, I push myself 1,000 percent in practice. I work extremely hard. I give it all I've got, and that's going to be the reward for me, and that's just going into the game and making plays and helping my team win football games," Cook said. "Nothing's going to change for me. I'm going to continue to be Dalvin Cook and go try to get a ring for Minnesota.

"Our ultimate goal is to go win a Super Bowl," Cook later added. "Just stay locked in and just put [the contract] behind me now and just go play football."