The Vikings Youngest Offseason Move to Date Will Surprise You

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The Minnesota Vikings signed six newcomers this offseason:

  • Josh Oliver, TE (Ravens)
  • Marcus Davenport, EDGE (Saints)
  • Byron Murphy, CB (Cardinals)
  • Dean Lowry, DT (Packers)
  • Brandon Powell, WR (Rams)
  • Troy Reeder, LB (Chargers)

The Vikings Youngest Offseason Move to Date Will Surprise You

In between, the club re-signed 13 existing free agents:

  • Khyiris Tonga, DT
  • Blake Brandel, OT
  • Nick Mullens, QB
  • Garrett Bradbury, C
  • Greg Joseph, K
  • Andrew DePaolo, LS
  • Ben Ellefson, TE
  • Alexander Mattison, RB
  • Kenny Willekes, DL
  • Austin Schlottmann, C
  • Oli Udoh, OT
  • Jonathan Bullard, DT
  • C.J. Ham, FB

And of all 19 men, the youngest player signed or re-signed is surprising — Alexander Mattison.

Youngest Offseason
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Younger than newcomer corner Byron Murphy by about five months, Mattison takes the cake. The 24-year-old re-signed with the Vikings for two years and $7 million last month. The move was a surprise as many Vikings fans believed Mattison would hit the open free-agent market and command more money elsewhere. But in the end, Mattison returned home for a fifth season and perhaps RB1 duty.

Former Vikings bossman Rick Spielman plucked Mattison out of the 3rd Round for the 2019 NFL Draft, and in the proceeding four years, the man has filled the job as RB2 without fail. He’s even younger than last year’s rookie halfback, Ty Chandler.

The Vikings 2021 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 1
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Mattison’s teammate, Dalvin Cook, remains under contract as RB1 but could be traded before or during the 2023 NFL Draft. Cook is scheduled to inflict a $14.1 million cap hit in 2023 and likely isn’t in the business of taking a paycut. If that occurs, Mattison will headline as RB1 in a running back by committee with the aforementioned Chandler and third-year speedster Kene Nwangu. Mattison is also younger than Nwangwu.

Mattison has recorded 1,670 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 404 carries with the Vikings, equaling an average of 4.1 yards per carry. He’s also effective in the passing game, where he’s tallied 526 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in four years.

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Other offseason moves, mainly the acquisition of TE Josh Oliver and re-upping with fullback C.J. Ham, seem to indicate Minnesota’s plan to run the football more in September. The Vikings ran the ball the third least in 2022 and subsequently battled uphill time-of-possession woes throughout the season.

In the early aftermath of the Vikings home playoff loss to the New York Giants in January, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweeted, “[Kirk] Cousins mentioned two pending free agents that he feels close to: center Garrett Bradbury and tailback Alexander Mattison.”

Cousins evidently had some sway because both men returned.

And Mattison is somehow the youngest of all 19 that signed on general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s dotted line.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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