A veteran in the Minnesota Vikings running back room could see his final year in Minnesota end prematurely.
Alexander Mattison, set to reach free agency in the 2023 offseason, is expected to test the market for an RB1 job after proving to be a starting-caliber running back, averaging 115. all-purpose yards and scoring five touchdowns in six career starts.
With Dalvin Cook under contract through the 2025 season and newcomers Kene Nwangwu and Ty Chandler flashing promise this preseason, the Vikings appear willing to move on from Mattison in a trade, Heavy.com’s Matt Lombardo reported.
“Some chatter on #Vikings RB Alexander Mattison, I’m told per league sources, while Minnesota isn’t actively shopping him, the team is certainly listening to offers,” Lombardo tweeted on August 29.
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Vikings Must Weigh Risk-Reward
Selected in the third round of the 2019 draft, Mattison has been the de-facto insurance policy for Cook over the past three seasons.
He’s filled in admirably, surpassing 100 rushing yards three times in his career and posting over 90 rushing yards in four of his six starts.
The Vikings could garner a mid-round pick in a trade involving Mattison by the league trade deadline on November 1. However, that’d come at the cost of losing the most experienced backup running back on the roster for the final stretch of the schedule — where a season’s wear and tear is felt most at the running back position.
In the past three seasons, Cook has missed three games in the month of December due to health reasons.
Mattison has been a reliable second option in the running game and is still an asset on the roster. The new regime under first-year general Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will have to weigh Mattison’s value against the rest of the running back room.
But if Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell feel Nwangwu and Chandler are viable options behind Cook, Mattison’s days in purple and gold could be over before the end of the year.
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Rick Spielman Chimes In With Mattison Trade Proposal
While the Vikings fired longtime general manager Rick Spielman in January, the veteran executive hasn’t stayed silent on matters in Minnesota. He’s reflected on his tenure with the Vikings in several media appearances and has recently chipped in his two cents for future moves.
“One potential option might be Alexander Mattison if Minnesota is willing to move him. The Eagles need a big, physical back to team up with Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott. Miles Sanders is currently dealing with a hamstring injury and has had durability problems the past two years,” Spielman wrote. “Mattison is in the final year of his contract, and Minnesota has two young backs in Kene Nwangwu and Ty Chandler to add depth behind Dalvin Cook.”
The chatter surrounding Mattison’s future is continuing to gain steam with Lombard’s report on Monday and is likely to remain a conversation in NFL circles ahead of the trade deadline.