In the lead-up to the NFL Draft, there was a lot of chatter that the Dolphins were interested in Dalvin Cook, and if Cook could be had at the right price via trade or if he was released, Miami would pounce and make a big move.

Well, the NFL Draft has come and gone, and Dalvin Cook is still in Minnesota….for now!

But that is expected to change soon as the Vikings and Cook appear to be at a standoff. With the worst salary cap situation in the league, Minnesota needs Cook’s contract either restructured (which he is refusing) or off the books. There was a report earlier this week out of Minnesota that Cook is not expected back with the Vikings and that he cannot be traded now because he is still recovering from shoulder surgery. And once his shoulder heals in order for him to pass a physical, he will be moved for a future 5th-round draft pick.

The other issue in play here is the magical date of June 1st. Trading cook before June 1st lets Minnesota save $7.9 million on the cap, but they eat $6.2 of dead money. Trading Cook after June 1st frees up $11 million in cap space with only a cap hit of $3.1 million. So, factor in the shoulder recovery and the June 1st salary cap ramifications, and it makes little sense for Minnesota to trade him before June 1st.

Many feel the trade has already been agreed to, and it’s just a matter of when it’s executed. The team that he will be traded to? Nobody knows for sure, but many feel it will be the Miami Dolphins. Others feel it will be New England. Yes, some other teams are out there that could also be in the mix, like Baltimore and Dallas. But Miami is the team that keeps coming up time after time when Cook’s name is mentioned.

Some Dolphins fans don’t understand why the organization is even interested. With Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson in place and now using a 3rd round draft pick on Devon Achane, is Cook still needed?

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated feels Miami will wait to see how Achane looks in mini-camp before possibly revisiting a trade to Cook later this summer. While he may be right, I think the Dolphins brass in Miami Gardens know that the running back position was an issue last year, and even with the selection of Achane is still an issue now.

Mostert was good last year, but let’s not go crazy and say it was anything more than good. Wilson was a mid-season acquisition and played well at times. Both were free agents this past offseason and didn’t have teams lined up knocking down their doors trying to sign them, and both ended up back in Miami at very modest contracts.

Also, in the games Tua was out, neither of these guys stepped up and helped carry the load on offense and take on a more significant role. When the moment got bigger for them, they didn’t produce.

While Devon Achane is a nice selection in Round 3, who we all hope pans out and becomes a big contributor for this team down the road, let’s not put the weight of the world on him as a rookie. He is a small 5’8″, 188 lb running back entering the NFL. Achane doesn’t “solve” Miami’s running back issue from 2022, which it still has entering this season.

CBS Sports: Highlights of Dolphins Draft Pick Devon Achane

So, for a team that has invested so much into its roster to “win now” and have this Super Bowl window in 2023 and 2024, bringing in a big-time running back like Dalvin Cook makes sense.

The Dolphins didn’t come this far just to come this far. It’s time to finish the job. If you are going to give up a boatload of draft picks for Tyreek Hill, a first-round pick for Bradley Chubb, take on Jalen Ramsey and give him a new contract, don’t stop now and go get Dalvin Cook for most likely will be a 5th round draft pick.

Don’t worry about the salary cap now; you haven’t in the past 24 months.

Don’t worry about future draft picks now; you haven’t in the past 24 months.

If you are going to be all in, be all in.

And if you are a fan “looking for reasons” to criticize Cook or bash him, stop

Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson would only dream of having a season like Cook had in 2022 or in any of Cook’s previous seasons since becoming the Vikings lead running back.

Cook’s numbers improved from 2021 to 2022, so his play isn’t declining.

Cook didn’t miss a game in 2022, so stop saying he is “injury prone.”

Cook is younger than Mostert, so don’t say you don’t want an “old” running back.

If the only arbitrary stat you look at is YPC (yards per carry), you are missing the bigger picture and trying to cherry-pick one stat to back a silly stance that can’t be backed.

This Dolphins team may be on the brink of a great season. A season we haven’t seen since the early 1990s. The Jets added Rodgers and made a big move, and as much as Dolphins fans don’t want to admit it, they are on par with Miami and maybe passed them.

The Dolphins adding Cook is a chess move they can make to solidify their place not only in the AFC East but the entire AFC.