Revealed: 2 Vikings Players’ Contracts Loaded with Incentives

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) reacts after losing a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Back in March, two of the Minnesota Vikings more prominent free-agent moves involved running back Alexander Mattison and newcomer cornerback Byron Murphy.

Both are committed to the team contractually through the end of 2024, so two years.

Revealed: 2 Vikings Players’ Contracts Loaded with Incentives

And on the last day of May, terms of the deals are available, complete with details about the players’ incentives.

Contracts Loaded with
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Incentives are relatively common in NFL contracts; this isn’t a ‘Vikings thing.’The 33rd TeamsAri Meirov revealed Mattison’s bonuses this week as follows:

  • 750 to 999 Rushing Yards = $250,000
  • 1,000+ Rushing Yards = $500,000

Those sums are in addition to Mattison’s two-year, $7 million contract, a gravy package if the production is present.

for Vikings at Bears
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) runs with the ball against the Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith (58) in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The 24-year-old was scheduled to hit free agency in March, and many Vikings fans expected Mattison to leave. Dalvin Cook, Ty Chandler, and Kene Nwanagwu were under contract at the position, and perhaps Mattison was the odd man out on his way to join another NFL team. But Minnesota held on to the Boise State alumnus, implying he could be on deck for RB1 responsibilities, especially if his teammate, Cook, was traded or released in June. Stay tuned.

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, a 2nd-Round draft pick. He was welcomed to the Vikings from free agency in March 2023.

On the other side of the ball, Murphy was arguably the most impactful player addition of the offseason. Minnesota allowed CBs Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, Cameron Dantzler, Chandon Sullivan, and Kris Boyd to join other teams this year, meaning the acquisition of a proven veteran CB was damn near required. That man is Murphy. Here’s a look at his incentive package:

  • 70% of Defensive Snaps = $250,000
  • 75% of Defensive Snaps = $500,000
  • 80% of Defensive Snaps = $750,000
  • 85% of Defensive Snaps = $1 million
  • Named First-Team All-Pro = $1 million
  • Named Second-Team All-Pro = $500,000
  • Pro Bowl on Original Ballot = $250,000
Sep 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrates after scoring on a 59-yard fumble recovery in overtime against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Murphy missed eight games in 2022 due to a back injury, and it’s evident the Vikings lowered the risk on his two-year, $17.5 million deal accordingly. If the man shows up and balls out, he’ll get paid with extras. Should the injury bug arise again, it’s the $8.75 million per season.

The Vikings defense struggled in 2022 despite the club’s mighty 13-4 division-winning record. To start the season, Ed Donatell’s defense seemed to gain its footing, especially in a wild win at the Buffalo Bills, But in hindsight, the Bills victory marked the beginning of a defensive downturn that carried all the way into the postseason when the Viking lost at home to the New York Giants.

With a new defensive coordinator, Brian Flores, plus Murphy, EDGE rusher Marcus Davenport, and some rookies, Minnesota seeks to improve the defense that allowed the third-most points in the league a year ago.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by