Vikings’ Cook: It ‘hurt’ to see Diggs traded away

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook says he recognized that Stefon Diggs wasn’t happy with his situation in Minnesota but he still took the wide receiver’s trade to the Buffalo Bills hard.

“That one hurt,” Cook said in a telephone interview with the Pioneer Press. “It hurt. That’s my brother. You know how close me and Diggsie were. To see him leave, it hurts because you spend so much time with a guy. … It hurt a lot of guys in the locker room but it’s part of the business. We’ve got to accept that Diggs wanted to be happy and be happy for him as a player.”

Cook told the newspaper that he reached out to Diggs after the trade “and just told him, ‘That’s my brother for life and I’m still here with you.’ And he was the same. Vice versa.”

Cook and Diggs had been teammates for the past three seasons. The Vikings traded Diggs to the Buffalo Bills in a package that included a first-round pick in this month’s draft.

Diggs showed signs of visible frustration last season, which boiled over following a Week 4 loss at Chicago. The wide receiver was fined $200,000 for unexcused absences from practices and team meetings the next week. The star wide receiver said then that he hadn’t “communicated anything” in regard to requesting a trade but that there was “truth to all rumors” amid the assumption that he was unhappy with the state of the Vikings’ offense, which had shifted toward a run-first approach, and his role within it.

This offseason has seen the departure of several veterans from the Vikings roster, through release, trade and free agency.

“Now, it’s time for some of the younger guys to step up and time for us to go out here and still be contenders,” Cook told the Pioneer Press. “I was close to a lot of those guys (that are gone) but that’s part of the business, and you’ve got to move forward. I just think the Vikings, we’ve just got to come together and I think we’ll still be contenders at the end of the day. It’s just going to be some new faces that you’ve got to get used to.”

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