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Dalvin Cook interest from Broncos: enamored with a star or concerned about the running back room?

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday that the Denver Broncos had been closely monitoring star Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, which leads to the question if the team was interested in shooting their shot with a bonafide star or has legitimate concerns about the run game.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos, according to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, are (or were) among two teams expected to show legitimate interest in star Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who is expected to be either traded or (more likely) released by Friday of this week.

The other team mentioned by Schefter is his hometown Miami Dolphins, who as of this moment, have a backfield featuring Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and rookie third-rounder Devon Achane. None of these should scare Cook away.

While the Dolphins have playing time and hometown appeal, however, the Broncos have a front office executive who helped in drafting him in George Paton, a Super Bowl winning coach in Sean Payton, and a revamped offensive line built to propel the run game.

Furthermore, even if third-year back Javonte Williams is fully recovered from last season’s knee injury (impossible to tell at this point), Cook’s presence would benefit the entire backfield in any regard.

The question would then come to money. Who could afford more of what Cook would want?

Earlier today, it could be seen as a tossup, but after the Broncos wisely added a formidable pass rush threat in Frank Clark to a one-year, $5.5 million deal, Miami should have the edge. And given Cook’s recent social media activity, it seems like if he has a choice, he’d want to play in front of his hometown.

So as of now, let’s assume Cook is out of reach for Denver. What exactly was the cause of the interest in the first place?

One answer could be that the Denver front office and staff want to upgrade anywhere and everywhere, and even with a solid duo of Williams and Perine, the availability of a star like Cook is too much to pass up. Payton did, after all, say everyone had a blank slate entering the season, so why wouldn’t he go after Cook, a proven stud in the backfield?

The other scenario, and one that is less optimal, is that a backfield of Williams, Perine, and Tony Jones, isn’t sitting well with him after OTAs and he wants someone proven. Cook is as proven as they come, so he makes sense as someone seeking running back help would turn to.

Again, though, let’s say he’s out of reach. If Payton is unhappy with what the running back room looks like, could he add another proven body on a short-term deal?

There are names available, if that is indeed the case.

Former RB1s or players who have RB1 type of experience currently looking for a job include Kareem Hunt, Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, and former Payton back Mark Ingram. Other backs who have shown to be productive include Benny Snell, Jr., Giovani Bernard, and JK McKissic, among others.

There is no shame in a coach usually accustomed to a Super Bowl caliber roster swinging for the fences on a player who could elevate his new team close to that same caliber, but whether it’s that or more so a valid concern about the position group will be determined in the coming weeks leading up to camp.

Should Cook choose Miami or elsewhere, whether the Broncos reach out to any other free agent former starters will be something to monitor.

Broncos/NFL News

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