One Man Is Still Whispered inside the Vikings Trade Rumor Mill

One Man Is Still Whispered inside the Vikings Trade Rumor Mill
Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions safety Will Harris (25) and cornerback Jerry Jacobs (39) and inside linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) and Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings conducted four trades in a week and a half, welcoming Nick Mullens (QB) from the Las Vegas Raiders, Ross Blacklock (DT) from the Houston Texans, and Jalen Reagor (WR) from the Philadelphia Eagles while sending Jesse Davis (OT) to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is probably “done” via trades for a bit with the NFL regular season four days away. But one name persists as the candidate if Adofo-Mensah pulled off one more move — Alexander Mattison (RB).

Mattison trade theories ran rampant a week ago when reports indicated the Vikings were “listening to trade offers about but not actively shopping” the 24-year-old running back.

And on Wednesday, Bleacher Report published an article detailing the “trade block big board.” Mattison wiggled onto the easel as an Honorable Mention with Jordan Love (QB, GB), Mason Rudolph (QB, PIT), and D’Ernest Johnson (RB, CLE).

Apparently 1/3 of the NFL Wants Alexander Mattison
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The likelihood of the Vikings dealing Mattison elsewhere now — with the regular season four days away — is low simply because they probably would’ve done it by now. Plus, Minnesota allegedly wanted a 3rd- or 4th-Round draft pick in return, matching the eventual compensatory pick that will be received when Mattison departs in 2023 free agency.

In the 2022 version of the NFL, only silly teams will hand over a 3rd- or 4th-Rounder for an RB2. The Los Angeles Rams gave the New England Patriots a 4th-Rounder and a 6th-Rounder for Sony Michel with the regular season afoot last year, but such a move was an outlier. Too, Michel no longer plays for the Rams.

Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings do have a crowded house at running back, though. For a team professing pass-first operations, rostering five RBs and FBs feels a bit counterproductive. Still, Minnesota employs Dalvin Cook as RB1, and he’s virtually guaranteed to miss at least two games per season.

In Cook’s stead, Mattison is generally productive. He’s delivered a couple of gaffes — which is what people remember — since entering the league in 2019, but overall, Mattison is a wonderful complementary tailback, shrinking the possibility of a Vikings trade this late in the summer.

If Adofo-Mensah did deal Mattison to an RB-needy organization, Kene Nwangwu and rookie Ty Chandler would be on tap for RB2 duty. Both men, Chandler especially, “looked the part” in the preseason.

While still rumored, a Mattison trade is unlikely. And if it did shake out, Minnesota would probably receive a 5th- or 6th-Round draft pick — not a 3rd or 4th. Otherwise, the Vikings can use Mattison in 2022 and kick back for the compensatory spoils next April.

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).

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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