Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Mattison is poised to reach free agency after this season. Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson revealed that Mattison intends to test the waters in finding a starting role after serving as a backup to Dalvin Cook the past three seasons.
After Heavy.com’s Matt Lombardo revealed the Vikings are “listening to offers” for Mattison, Tomasson found Mattison has garnered strong interest in the league — signaling strong doubts Mattison will remain with the Vikings after the 2023 season.
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‘No Chance’ Mattison Signs Extension With Vikings: Report
On August 29, Tomasson revealed that at least a dozen teams have called the Vikings about Mattison. He added that “there’s no chance” Mattison signs an extension, and considering he’s already garnering interest from nearly half the NFL, he’s likely to see that same interest come 2023 free agency.
“Talked to some folks on #Vikings RB Alexander Mattison & possible trade At least 12 teams have called on Mattison,” Tomasson tweeted. “As noted before there’s no chance of Mattison signing an extension (wants to be a RB1) But Vikings like him as a big back after Cook as Nwangwu & Chandler aren’t big.”
Tomasson added that “Sources said that Mattison, who has spent the past three seasons backing up star running back Dalvin Cook, very much likes being in Minnesota but that he wants to be a starting running back. That’s why Mattison, 24, doesn’t want to tie himself to the Vikings beyond this season.”
Mattison has proven to be capable of being a team’s top running back. In six starts over the past two seasons, Mattison has averaged 115.5 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns. He surpassed 100 rushing yards in two of those games and posted over 90 rushing yards in four of his six starts.
“I can understand his situation,” former Vikings star running back Chuck Foreman told Tomasson. “He is a No. 1 back someplace else, no question about it, and deserves an opportunity to play someplace.”
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Vikings Will Receive Draft Pick If Mattison Signs Elsewhere
No matter if Minnesota holds onto Mattison this season or trades him, the Vikings are likely to receive draft capital for developing the Boise State product.
If Mattison, a third-round signs to another team in free agency, Minnesota will receive a compensatory third- or fourth-round pick. The floor for a potential trade would have to involve at least a pick of that value.
If Mattison moves on from Minnesota, the Vikings have Cook under contract through the 2025 season, along with 2021 fourth-round pick Kene Nwangwu through the 2024 season and fifth-round rookie Ty Chandler through the 2025 season.
Unless a team offers a trade package significantly better than the compensatory pick the Vikings will receive in the spring if Mattison walks, Minnesota is better off keeping Mattison as an insurance policy on Cook.
“I think he’s a high-valued player around the league,” Foreman told Tomasson. “The Vikings would probably want to get a draft choice of some kind. The good thing for the Vikings at that particular position is they’re very deep.”