Is an Alexander Mattison Trade Coming?

A Preview of Vikings-Lions in Week 3
Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings currently have extreme depth at the running back position. Kene Nwangwu and Ty Chandler had outstanding preseason performances, and Dalvin Cook is assuredly the starting running back as long as he’s on the roster. Because of that, there have been rumors that one of C.J. Ham or Alexander Mattison could see their time in Minnesota come to an end. In particular, traction is building that an Alexander Mattison trade could be on the horizon.

A Mattison-Vikings divorce makes sense for one main reason: the veteran RB is a free agent at the end of the 2022 season. It makes sense for the Vikings to attempt to get something back for him now rather than watching him walk for nothing next spring.

The interest in an Alexander Mattison trade from other teams seems to be plentiful as well, with calls from at least 12 teams, according to Chris Tomasson. He also notes that the Vikings would need to get some notable return for the RB, considering they will likely get a third or fourth round compensatory pick in return if Mattison leaves in free agency.

Supposedly, the Vikings are not close to extending Mattison either. This makes sense given that he has been a career RB for his tenure with the Vikings, and the team has their new pair of emerging studs in the backfield as well. Meanwhile, Mattison wants to explore his options as a starting running back next year, per Tomasson.

Over his first three NFL seasons, Mattison has started six games, including four in the 2021 season. In his 2021 starts, he recorded 86 carries for 356 yards (~4.14 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. Mattison gets knocked for being less elusive than Cook, but when he needs to be the workhorse in the backfield, he often finds success. Because of this, it makes sense that he would like to see what he can do outside of Cook’s shadow.

For now, the Vikings still have six running backs on the roster, but with the cutdown deadline being Tuesday afternoon at 4 PM EST, expect multiple changes between now and then.


Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of Josh’s takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken