Alexander Mattison Crossing Fingers for One Viking to Return

3 Options at RB
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If the decision were solely up to players, Kirk Cousins would be the Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback in 2024 and beyond.

Alexander Mattison Crossing Fingers for One Viking to Return

Cousins is on deck to hit the open market in free agency on March 11th unless the Vikings front office finagles an extension. And as of February 13th, Cousins’ return to Minnesota is truly up in the air. It could go either way.

Mattison Crossing
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins speaks before a joint practice with the Tennessee Titans in Eagan, Minn., Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

But running back Alexander Mattison isn’t on the fence — not by a longshot. He’d re-sign the 35-year-old in a heartbeat. Mattison said last week about Cousins on the Stacking the Box podcast, “I just pray that we get Kirk Cousins back because I love that guy. I’ve been playing with him since I got in, and he changes the game, for sure.”

If the Vikings don’t reach an agreement with Cousins, he could sign with a franchise like the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, or Pittsburgh Steelers. Those are the theorized destinations for March.

Individual RB
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Meanwhile, Mattison isn’t alone in the Vikings locker room with the pro-Cousins opinion. Justin Jefferson said last Wednesday while making a handful of show appearances on radio row, “I would like him to stay. I would love to have him stay and have that connection with him. It’s going to be difficult to create that new connection with a whole new quarterback. Especially if we don’t know if we’re going to draft one, we don’t know if we’re going to pick one up. It’s a difficult situation. I would like to have him back.”

Cousins is recovering from a torn Achilles suffered last October, will turn 36 this summer, and will probably fetch around $45 million via his next contract.

NFL: New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings
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Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah must decide in the next month if there’s a happy medium with Cousins’ representation. Minnesota probably doesn’t have the $45 million annual asking price available to sign the veteran passer, as Jefferson needs an extension, along with Danielle Hunter. Christian Darrisaw, too, will need a new contract at this time next year, and tight end T.J. Hockenson is already the highest-paid tight end in league history.

Jefferson also stated on radio row, “I feel like everyone, especially Vikings fans, appreciate Kirk a little bit more now that we’ve seen him off the field. It’s definitely been tough, but to see him still in the training room, still interacting with us as a team, still having that high spirit. I guess we will see what goes on.”

in Undesirable Spot
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Mattison, the team’s RB1 for most of 2023, should be back in 2024, as well. He didn’t totally shine in the RB1 role but could slide back into a more customary spot at RB2. The team has no real financial incentive to move on from Mattison this offseason.

A verdict on Cousins’ fate in Minnesota should be announced in the next 3-4 weeks.

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).

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