Apparently 1/3 of the NFL Wants Alexander Mattison via Trade
Four months of chirping by Minnesota Vikings fans about a possible trade of halfback Alexander Mattison may be coming to fruition.
Minnesota drafted running back Ty Chandler from North Carolina in the 5th Round of the 2022 NFL Draft, expanding the RB section of the depth chart perhaps beyond normative limits. On Monday, Chris Tomasson from the Pioneer Press reported that “at least 12 teams” have called Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah about Mattison’s services.
Tomasson wrote, “A source said the Vikings probably would need to get a third- or fourth-round draft pick if they were to make a deal. Even if Mattison were to leave the team next March as a free agent, the Vikings would be in line to receive a compensatory draft pick.”
The Vikings would need to find a fairly goofy general manager to unload a 3rd or 4th-Round pick for Mattison. If the year was 1992 instead of 2022, the asking price might add up. Running backs simply aren’t as coveted since Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos morphed the NFL into a pass-happy league a decade ago.
Still, with 53-man roster finalization one day away, the evidence from Tomasson suggests Mattison is quasi-expendable, as Minnesota has Dalvin Cook, Kene Nwangwu, and Ty Chandler in mind at tailback. Four is too many.
What’s more, Mattison is actually younger than Chandler, despite already playing in the NFL for three years.
Former general manager Rick Spielman found Mattison in the 3rd Round of the 2019 NFL Draft, a bet-hedge to the aforementioned Cook, who is seemingly guaranteed to be injured for at least two games per season. Mattison has played in 42 games for the Vikings, starting six, while tallying 1,387 rushing yards, 435 receiving yards, and eight total touchdowns. He’s become the almighty safety valve at RB1 for Minnesota, even though his skillset is less dynamic than Cook’s.
Mattison specializes in chunk yardage, ranking 20th in the NFL since 2019 via 15+ yard rushes. In the same timeframe, he ranks 39th in rushing attempts, so the production vastly exceeds the opportunities.
The rumored Mattison trade talks also add mystery to fullback C.J. Ham’s role with the team. If the Vikings do not trade Mattison, Ham could be on the outside looking in when the regular season roster is announced. Keeping Mattison and Ham — plus Cook, Nwangwu, and Chandler — would bring the total to five RBs and FBs inside a pass-first offense.
Minnesota hasn’t involved a running back in a trade since 2001 when it, the receiving team, landed Travis Prentice from the Cleveland Browns for a 5th-Round Pick. The Vikings also received QB Spergon Wynn and a 7th-Rounder in the deal.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).