Purple Headlines of the Week: Starting RB Released, Shutting Down Justin Jefferson Trade Rumors, Boatloads of QB Meetings for the Vikings

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) reacts before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It was another busy week in the NFL offseason.

The focus of the league turned to Indianapolis this week as the NFL Scouting Combine took place and more than 300 prospects put their skills on display for all 32 teams. With the week now winding down, here is a look at all the purple headlines that you may have missed.

Vikings Release RB Alexander Mattison

Purple Headlines
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) celebrates a first down against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings made one of their first major roster decisions of the offseason this week when they opted to release starting running back Alexander Mattison.

The release was reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, who tweeted, “Vikings informed RB Alexander Mattison today that they are releasing him, per source. Mattison took over last season for Dalvin Cook and ran for 700 yards and caught 30 passes. Now he becomes a free agent again, like last year when he signed a two-year deal with Minnesota.”

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.

However, Mattison did not record a single rushing touchdown in 2023, and his rushing average of 3.9 yards per carry led Minnesota to turn a large portion of the carries over to second-year back Ty Chandler during the final half of the season.

With this move, the Vikings save $3.35 million in cap space.

Vikings GM Shuts Down Justin Jefferson Trade Rumors

NFL: Combine
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah speaks during a press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has had to watch a lot of rumors get thrown around regarding his team over the past few weeks without much of an outlet to answer them.

On Tuesday, Adofo-Mensah finally got that outlet at the NFL Scouting Combine where he took the podium to answer questions regarding the Minnesota Vikings, free agency, and the upcoming draft. One such question was directly in regard to trading star wide receiver Justin Jefferson, and this was Adofo-Mensah’s response:

“That is not something that’s once crossed my mind. You got a blue[-chip] player, a blue[-chip] person, you try to keep as many of those as you can.”

Over the first four seasons of his NFL career, Jefferson has been the most productive receiver in NFL history in terms of his yardage output. As a result, his next contract should be one of the most lucrative we’ve ever seen for a non-QB. This has caused some rumors that the Vikings could look to trade Jefferson in order to avoid handing him that contract, but with these comments from Adofo-Mensah, it seems that Minnesota remains committed to getting a deal done with their star receiver.

Lots of QB Meetings at the Combine

Nov 11, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) hands the ball off to running back Omarion Hampton (28) in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With Cousins still set to enter free agency this offseason and his future with the Vikings uncertain, Minnesota has been putting in a lot of work to get to know quarterback prospects in this upcoming draft class.

Over the course of the week, the Vikings have been confirmed to have met with the following prospects:

It appears that the Vikings are intent on exploring every avenue at the position in this draft if Cousins were to leave.

In Case You Missed It…

Dec 1, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) throws the ball against the Oregon Ducks in the second half of the Pac-12 Championship game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As usual, we have an extra list of reading material for the especially studious Vikings fans. Happy reading!

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.