Vikings make crucial Alexander Mattison decision amid Justin Jefferson contract saga - Sport News

Vikings make crucial Alexander Mattison decision amid Justin Jefferson contract saga

With Kirk Cousins set to become a free agent and Justin Jefferson seeking a massive contract extension, there could be some changes on the Minnesota Vikings offense. A major one is already taking effect. Alexander Mattison has been told that the team is releasing him, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Vikings make crucial Alexander Mattison decision amid Justin Jefferson contract saga

The 25-year-old running back’s insufficient production last season (3.9 yards pr carry) and the emergence of Ty Chandler makes this an understandable decision, but it is still surprising to see Mattison dismissed after re-signing on a two-year deal last March. Although he will not be the biggest name in the RB free agent pool, the 2019 third-round pick should draw some interest from teams.

Mattison ran for 700 yards during the 2023-24 campaign but did not have a rushing touchdown. He did score three times as a receiver, though, while adding another 192 yards. There was doubt surrounding his ability to effectively assume the lead back role before the season even started, and unfortunately, the former Boise State star could not decisively lock down the job.

Just as Alexander Mattison helped make Vikings great Dalvin Cook expendable last offseason, the development of Ty Chandler convinced the front office that this cost-saving move– frees up more than $3 million– was a practical route to take. The second-year running back out of Tennessee and North Carolina rushed for 461 yards on 4.5 yards per carry and found the end zone on three occasions. He is actually older than Mattison but comes with less wear and tear.

The Vikings won seven games without an intimidating backfield, or a reliable quarterback situation for much of the final two months of the regular season, so they could be focused on doing everything necessary to extend All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson this offseason. That means there could be more tough decisions on the horizon.

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