Don’t Bank on an Alexander Mattison Trade
Throughout much of the season, one Viking has been mentioned in trade talks more than any other: running back Alexander Mattison. With free agency looming for the young RB this offseason, it seemed like the Vikings might try to cut their losses, especially with the RB looking to be a starter in 2023. However, in light of recent events around the league, don’t bank on an Alexander Mattison trade prior to the trade deadline.
There’s no doubt the Vikings backup running back has garnered interest around the league. Chris Tomasson reported this preseason that “at least 12 teams” had contacted the Vikings about him.
However, if we look at the RB market right now, unless there’s a Christian McCaffrey caliber of player, it doesn’t seem like players at the position carry much weight in terms of draft capital. James Robinson– who just two seasons ago totaled over 1400 yards from scrimmage–was traded by the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth-round pick.
The Jets had a desperate need for RB depth after rookie star Breece Hall went down with a torn ACL last Sunday in Denver. Even still, they only had to give up a pick that, right now, sits as the No. 187 selection in the 2023 Draft.
Part of the reasoning behind this likely is that, like Mattison, Robinson is a free agent at the end of the season. There’s no guarantee that either of them would be with the team more than the 8-9 games that remain in the 2022 season.
Additionally for the Vikings, Mattison provides much more value to Minnesota now than a pick in the 180-190 range does. He is the perfect safety net behind Dalvin Cook who can step in as the starter whenever necessary. We’ve already seen an injury scare with Cook and his shoulder this year, and with Ty Chandler on IR, the Vikings need Mattison.
The best teams in the NFL have reliable depth behind their starters in case injuries occur. Right now, the Vikings have one of the better one-two punches at running back in the entire NFL. With a playoff run looming, it seems silly to break that up by completing a trade.
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 enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.