The Vikings Shouldn’t Be in a Rush to Trade Alexander Mattison

Questions Answered: What a Trade for Mattison Would Like, T.Y. McGill, Adios to Myron
Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports.

Yesterday, the rumors emerged that the Vikings were receiving trade interest in Alexander Mattison.

According to Chris Tomasson, “at least” a dozen teams have reached out about Minnesota’s RB2.

Tomasson further notes that Mattison’s desire is to be a RB1.

The Vikings will be featuring Dalvin Cook in their offense. Cook, a sensational football player, is one of the best in the league. A large part of the issue with that plan is that he’s commonly injured. For this reason, it makes some sense to have a second running back who can fill in for multiple weeks, if needed.

In 2020, Mattison put up some impressive numbers. His 96 carries went for 434 yards, which works out to an average of 4.5 yards per attempt. He caught 13 of his 15 targets, piling up 125 yards in the process. Combined, he had 3 touchdowns. These numbers aren’t extraordinary, but they point to someone with a lot of ability. Don’t forget that he finished the 2020 season as the 9th-best running back on PFF.

Part of the issue is that things didn’t go as well in 2021. Can we place all the blame on Mattison, though? A lot went wrong for the Vikings last year.

Josh Frey discussed the Alexander Mattison trade rumors on Purple PTSD, suggesting that the possibility can make some sense: “A Mattison-Vikings divorce makes sense for one main reason: the veteran RB is a free agent at the end of the 2022 season. It makes sense for the Vikings to attempt to get something back for him now rather than watching him walk for nothing next spring.”

Perhaps that’s how the franchise views things, as well.

What I’ll add, though, is that there’s no guarantee Cook is with Minnesota beyond 2022. Per Over the Cap, the Vikings could save nearly $8 million by cutting Cook next season. A post-June 1 designation would clear $11 million. The financial reality means the team will likely consider the possibility of moving on from Cook.

If that occurs, then Mattison would be a logical starting point when considering a replacement.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah needs to do what’s best for the Minnesota Vikings. If that means trading Mattison, then so be it. Nevertheless, the team ought not be in a hurry to move on from their talented RB2. He could be a strong contributor in 2022 and beyond.

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