Assessing Vikings' options at RB after cutting Alexander Mattison - Sport News

Assessing Vikings’ options at RB after cutting Alexander Mattison

For the second consecutive offseason, the Minnesota Vikings have cut the team’s lead running back, as they informed Alexander Mattison of his release Thursday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Vikings will save $3.35 million in cap space with the move. According to Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Mattison was due a guaranteed $2.75 million on March 15.

Mattison was a third-round pick in 2019 and showed intriguing ability as a pass-catcher and a change-of-pace back behind star Dalvin Cook. However, after being handed the lead reins following Cook’s release, he regressed in 2023, rushing for 700 yards (3.9 YPA) in 16 games with his only three scores on the year coming through the air.

Vikings' RB options after cutting Alexander Mattison

Facing a massive hole in the backfield again, the Vikings could go in several directions to fill it.

Mattison’s replacement might already be in-house. Third-year back Ty Chandler showed flashes of ability in year two, but the Vikings can hardly count on him to carry the load even if head coach Kevin O’Connell recently gave him a vote of confidence.

The Vikings are all but assured to select a running back or two in the 2024 NFL Draft, but with several pressing needs on both sides of the ball, the team is unlikely to spend high picks on the position. If that’s the case, there should be a few bargains in the middle rounds, like Audric Estime (Notre Dame), Will Shipley (Clemson) and MarShawn Lloyd (USC).

Meanwhile, being active in free agency also seems inevitable. If Minnesota is willing to spend a little, Saquon Barkley could be ideal, but other options exist in D’Andre Swift and Zack Moss.

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