Former Vikings RB Has a Free Agency Visit with the Raiders

Oct 22, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; A detail view of Las Vegas Raiders helmets before a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings struggled mightily to run the ball effectively in 2023 without Dalvin Cook around.

As a result, before free agency even began, starting Vikings RB Alexander Mattison was released from the team after compiling 180 carries for 700 yards and no touchdowns this past season. Now, after spending the past week on the open market, Mattison has a visit scheduled with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Former Vikings RB Visits with Raiders

Vikings RB
Nov 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The news was reported by Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report, who tweeted, “Free agent RB Alexander Mattison is visiting the #Raiders today, sources tell @BleacherReport. Multiple teams are in play for Mattison at this point.”

Mattison was selected by Minnesota in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Boise State, and he began his career as Cook’s backup. However, after Cook was released last offseason, the RB2 took over the RB1 role for 2023 and recorded career highs in both carries and rushing yards but no touchdowns.

As a result, Mattison was released in order to save the Vikings $3.35 million in salary cap space, which has gone towards signing new players such as Aaron Jones, who seems set to replace Mattison in Minnesota’s backfield this season after spending the past seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

Vikings Beat the Bears, Win 13th Game of the Season
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) greets fans after the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

In total, Mattison recorded 584 carries for 2370 rushing yards and 11 rushing TDs during his five seasons in a Vikings uniform. He also added 100 receptions for 718 yards and six receiving touchdowns.

The Raiders’ interest in Mattison is unsurprising, considering they lost Josh Jacobs to the Green Bay Packers this past week. Jacobs, the 2022 NFL rushing leader, was a stalwart RB in Las Vegas’ backfield for the first five seasons of his career, recording 1305 carries for 5545 yards and 46 TDs along with 197 receptions for 1448 receiving yards.

If Mattison were to head to Las Vegas, in a strange roundabout way, it would create a three-way RB trade between the Packers, Raiders, and Vikings with Jacobs going to Green Bay, Jones going to Minnesota, and Mattison heading to Las Vegas.

January 1, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Currently, the Raiders employ a whopping five players at the running back position including Zamir White, Ameer Abdullah (another former Viking and teammate of Mattison), Brittain Brown, Sincere McCormick, and Tyreik McAllister.

The most notable of these players is White, who was a fourth-round pick by Las Vegas back in 2022. Last season, he recorded 104 carries for 451 yards and a touchdown. He would be Mattison’s fiercest competition for the starting role in Las Vegas.

Mattison will turn 26 years old on June 19th.


Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.