Dalvin Cook has a serious legal problem that no amount of spinning by his camp can make go away

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Many things will never be clear about the interactions between Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and Gracelyn Trimble, a former girlfriend who got into an altercation with Cook last November. Here’s one thing that is clear. No amount of effort by Cook’s lawyer or agent to downplay or defuse the situation will make it all go away quickly and summarily.

Last night, agent Zac Hiller tried to get ahead of the situation by spoon-feeding a self-serving contention to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, who tweeted this: “Minnesota Vikings’ RB Dalvin Cook is the victim of domestic abuse and extortion — there’s pending litigation, according to his agent Zac Hiller.”

It was vague and confusing and frankly bizarre. Minutes later, Hiller called me to elaborate. He went on the record, and he provided more details as to the contentions that Cook is making about an unlawful entry into his home, a subsequent physical struggle, and a contention that he’s now the victim of extortion.

In hindsight, it’s obvious that Hiller was trying to get ahead of the story, to paint a favorable picture as to Cook’s alleged innocence. And that’s fine for him to try. It’s also more than fine for us to now explain, after the fact, that this is exactly what he was doing.

The “pending litigation” isn’t something that was filed by Cook. It was filed by Trimble, against Cook. (Hiller insisted on Tuesday night that a lawsuit has not yet been filed.)

Both sides will have the right to make their contentions and allegations in court. Without a settlement, a jury eventually will have to figure it all out. The NFL could get involved, too, investigating the situation under the personal-conduct policy and, if a violation is found, imposing discipline.

Even with Schefter’s misleading tweet blasted to a massive audience that he actively uses to persuade people like Zac Hiller to go to Schefter first, that won’t be enough to get the league or the court system to look the other way. Cook has the right to make his allegations, and Trimble has the right to make hers. The facts ultimately will determine the outcome in court and, possibly, the outcome before the Commissioner.

26 responses to “Dalvin Cook has a serious legal problem that no amount of spinning by his camp can make go away

  1. I would think it’s commissioner’s list time but until/unless he is charged I am guessing he plays.

    Then again it’s the Vikings and not the Packers …

  2. I get that Schefter has to play some games to keep his sources happy, but this is an example where he should’ve stayed out of it.

  3. Without presuming anything about Cook or his specific situation, let’s take a moment to empathize with NFL players who are in these situations and thus check ourselves before we get preaching about how they respond. There was a time when victims were essentially ignored and struggled to get any legal traction when something wrong was done to them; at the present time, it is clear that the burden of proof in the public eye has shifted now to the accused. Some degree of guilt is assigned the moment an accusation is made, and if in the end the accused is innocent of allegations that is a tough reality. On top of that, let’s consider the fear likely felt by players given the way the NFL has historically responded to these situations – as proven in the case of Ezekiel Elliott, the league will conclude whatever it wants and punish however it feels. While wrongdoing certainly happens and its good that justice is served more than it used to be, it’s also true that accusers can be partly or fully innocent, and we can feel for a given hypothetical innocent player for what he would have to go through in clearing his name…assuming enough hard evidence even exists for exoneration, which of course often is not available.

  4. Psycho ex girlfriend breaks into his house and attacks him. Now she is suing him in civil court because she is a lover scorned.

    No arrest, no police report.

    Cook will be fine.

  5. Cook, Rodgers, the two players from the Raiders, and I’m sure there are more—–when can we get some positive news that makes us feel good about the NFL?

  6. Every single year there is some player that can’t understand there are consequences for actions. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction! Every year there is some player that can’t control them selves. It’s a shame. The NFL or NFLPA need to do something about this.

  7. Just toxic all around and both have a lot to lose. Her with the military and him with the NFL. Going to be interesting in how this plays out, as neither one is exactly innocent.

  8. Pictures and messages from his phone will not lie.. let the truth unfold… but Not looking good for him.. if pictures and messages are true,he should be thrown out of league.. start holding these players accountable..I know in the Real work place I wouldn’t have a job and would have a felony record keeping me from being able to make a decent living,I’d be working for minimum wage if I had these “accusations “ against me ..

  9. No arrest, no police report.

    Cook will be fine.


    Take a look at the pictures the woman released, and get back to me.

  10. If he abused her dump him, if he didn’t she should pay his attorney fees. The cell phone pictures and videos released to date actually show both sides of the story. I usually side with the female in these deals regardless of if the player is on my favorite team, but this isn’t looking like any sot of death knell for Cook. One thing for certain, he should lock his car doors so folks can’t grab his garage door opener.

  11. A year later after they got back together off and on? What? COVID stopped this lawsuit from happening for a year? This country needs to get standards on this kind of stuff. Sounds like a lover’s spat where the other party is saying now I’m going to get you, and sorry, the courts don’t need to be clogged up with the mess.

  12. Rodgers’ punishment for his not being forth-right. Packos hiding it all along. Has set the bar very very low for anyone else getting into trouble. for now and on on & on.
    NFL will treat all teams the same? Right? (sarcasm)

  13. if this were Rodgers instead of Cook, they would slap him with a $10k fine and call it a day

  14. Ray Rice was fine until the video surfaced. Maybe The Chef could release pictures of his bruised knuckles to get more sympathy.

  15. Given that no criminal charges have been made, this smells a lot like an off season settlement.

  16. In the United States of America, being accused of a crime, with no police involvement or report, does not make one guilty. Cook doesn’t have a legal problem yet.

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