Breaking down why Dalvin Cook probably doesn't join the Bengals

Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

While Dalvin Cook was released to likely allow for the Minnesota Vikings to reach a long-term deal with superstar wide receiver, Justin Jefferson, the six-year running back now looks to join a contending team. The two favorites are the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins which each have intriguing situations for Cook. 

Miami would allow Cook to join a team that has the running back depth to allow the 27-year-old to not play every down. Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr, and rookie Devin Achane can help take the burden off of Cook, helping him to stay healthy and rested.

Cook would be able to play the first two downs on a team that has an explosive passing game and competent defense but needs some juice in the running back room. The Dolphins have made flashy moves in the past two offseasons, securing Tyreek Hill, Terron Armstead, and Jalen Ramsey.

If Dalvin Cook joins Miami, they have the potential to make an AFC Championship, assuming key players can stay healthy, a struggle for the Dolphins in recent memory.

Don't count on Dalvin Cook joining the Bengals.

While Miami offers an enticing roster to complement Cook, the four-time Pro Bowler might find a new home with AFC East rival, the Buffalo Bills. Joining Buffalo would make Dalvin Cook the clear-cut back, with his number two being James Cook, Dalvin’s younger brother.

The family ties might be enough to draw the former Viking to a team that has had Super Bowl aspirations during Josh Allen’s reign as the quarterback. Paired with Allen’s rushing abilities, Cook’s dominance on the ground might be enough to get Buffalo their ring.

Although Miami and Buffalo are the clear favorites to land one of the top free agents, he could still make a splash with another team. Cincinnati is likely set with Zac Taylor confirming that Joe Mixon is their guy.

If Cook wants to stick with purple, he could join a Ravens backfield with the often-injured J.K. Dobbins. Baltimore is a huge dark horse to land Cook due to their rush-first offense that lacks a true superstar running back.

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While Cook’s current future is unknown, the 27-year-old will likely join a contender to chase a ring, with the most intriguing options in the AFC. Bad news for the Bengals.