A Sweet “Extra” RB Could Soon Be Available to Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings have five running backs on the pre-training camp depth chart, but only two who could be totally trusted to take a sizable portion of carries.

A Sweet “Extra” RB Could Soon Be Available to Vikings

Those two are Aaron Jones, a newcomer free agent who defected from the Green Bay Packers in March, and Ty Chandler, a third-year speedster who shined down the stretch of the 2023 campaign. After those men, it’s Kene Nwangwu, DeWayne McBride, and Myles Gaskin.

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Based on that personnel, if some of the rumor mill out west turns out accurate, Minnesota should explore the would-be services of Denver Broncos halfback Javonte Williams.

Williams enters Year No. 4 in 2024 and could be the odd man out in Denver when roster trimdowns shake out in 2.5 months. Broncos reporter Cecil Lammey noted this week on his podcast, “The top Denver RB looks like Jaleel McLaughlin … will Javonte Williams even make the team?

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That comment sent NFL heads — particularly the fantasy football community — into a tizzy, as Williams was once highly coveted as a productive RB1. If Lammey is correct, Williams could soon hit the open market, and some team will scoop his services.

And if that happens, Minnesota should be in the mix, especially if the running back room stays as-is deep into August.

Foremost, running backs always get hurt, so although Jones and Chandler can man the top of the ticket in September, RB business could look a lot different in November, for example. The Vikings should boast three playable running backs, and Williams would fold nicely into the operation.

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Williams also catches the rock out of the backfield.

He logged 47 receptions in 16 games last year, a respectable amount and a skillset akin to what Jones will ideally provide as a Viking in 2024. Chandler, too, can catch the ball a bit, but Jones and Williams might have him beat per scouting reports.

Why don’t the Broncos want Williams? Well, Sean Payton, who took over the team a season ago, has no loyalty to the playmaker. Payton could be content with the aforementioned McLaughlin and also drafted Notre Dame’s Audric Estime during April’s draft. In that vein, Williams could be expendable around roster cutdowns.

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If Williams isn’t released or the Vikings have no interest in his services, the franchise could also re-sign Cam Akers. The veteran tailback is recovering from an Achilles’ tear and would fill the RB3 job with ease in Minnesota if healthy.

Williams turned 24 on the first day of the 2024 NFL Draft.

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 OverTheCap.com.