With the announcement that the Minnesota Vikings were declining Adrian Peterson’s option, their depth chart at the position got shorter. It sounds like it’s about to get shorter still once free agency starts.
Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that running back Matt Asiata will be testing free agency, and it’s not likely that he’ll be returning to Minnesota.
Asiata initially signed with the Vikings after going undrafted out of the University of Utah in 2011. He was cut and signed to the practice squad, but was eventually released. Minnesota gave him a second chance in 2012, and he earned his way on to the roster as a special teamer. He got an opportunity to play at the end of the 2013 season, thanks to injuries to Peterson and Toby Gerhart, and put up one of the more unusual lines you’ll ever see in the Vikings’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. In that contest, Asiata gained 51 yards on 30 carries, but found the end zone three times.
Peterson’s off-field issues gave Asiata a bigger opportunity in 2014, and he responded by scoring 10 total touchdowns (nine rushing, one receiving). Since 2012, only Peterson (33) has collected more rushing touchdowns for the Vikings than Asiata (18).
Asiata will likely be able to find himself a better position if he does move on from Minnesota. With Jerick McKinnon on the roster and the team likely to spend a draft pick on a part of a deep running back class in this April’s draft, Asiata likely wouldn’t have gotten a lot of carries anyway. If he has played his last game in purple, we wish him the best in his future endeavors.