The Minnesota Vikings have a strong one-two punch at running back with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. While Cook’s future with the team is safely secure, Minnesota could receive nice compensation for its No. 2 back.
Minnesota isn’t actively shopping Mattison ahead of the regular season, but they are listening to offers on the young running back (per Heavy.com.) Mattison is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and has a cap number of $1,170,545 this year. The 2019 third-round pick has been an efficient backup to Cook, rushing for 1,387 yards and six touchdowns (4.2 yards per carry) in his three seasons — averaging 110 carries per season. He also has 55 catches for 435 yards and two touchdowns during that span.
The emergence of Ty Chandler could be the reason why Minnesota is listening to offers for Mattison. Chandler, a 2022 fifth-round pick, has rushed for 113 yards and averaged 7.5 yards per carry on 15 carries and a touchdown in the preseason. While emerging as a potential backup to Cook, that makes Mattison potentially expendable in a contract year.
“I thought across the board, Ty, he’s pretty decisive in the run game, putting his foot down, getting north and south,” Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said earlier this month. “He ran with the type of physicality that sometimes you don’t get to see in practice.
“You know it’s there, you know the vision’s there, so he was a real bright spot for me.”
Whether Chandler is the No. 2 running back on the depth chart depends on what the Vikings do with Mattison. He finished with a career high in rushing yards (491), rushing attempts (134) and rushing touchdowns (three) last season — and made four starts in the process.
With teams valuing the running back position, Mattison could be in line for a much larger role if he’s dealt from Minnesota. An opportunity to shine in an expanded role could lead to a larger contract in free agency.
The Vikings have no intention of trading Mattison, but it appears he can be had for the right price.