The Minnesota Vikings have kept another of their own players in the fold this Wednesday evening, and it might say quite a bit about the future of one of their more recognizable stars.
The team has announced that they have re-signed running back Alexander Mattison to a two-year deal that could be worth as much as $8 million if certain benchmarks are hit. The deal contains $6.35 million in guarantees.
Mattison was a third-round pick of the Vikings in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Boise State. He’s proven himself to be a capable #2 running back as Dalvin Cook’s backup over the past four years, appearing in 59 games with six starts. He’s carried the ball 404 times for 1,670 yards and 11 touchdowns, including five touchdowns this past season.
I know that I can count myself among those that thought Mattison would take his free agent opportunity and head for a different team. Now that he’s re-signed with the Vikings, it makes sense to wonder what the future is for Dalvin Cook. Cook has a $14 million cap hit coming this season and has drawn a bit of interest on the trade market. Signing Mattison to a deal like this would seem to signal that Cook isn’t going to be on the team next season, whether something happens before the end of this week or if it stretches out all the way to Draft weekend and beyond.
If Cook were to be traded or released, Mattison would probably work as part of a committee with Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and potentially a rookie from this year’s draft class or undrafted free agency. With the devaluation of the running back position around most of the National Football League and the Vikings needing to save some money somewhere, the running back position might be the most logical place to look.
Welcome (back) to Minnesota, Alexander!