Two More Vikings Players Officially Say Goodbye to Minnesota

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

Throughout the early stages of NFL free agency, the Minnesota Vikings have seen a number of players leave the franchise.

On Monday evening, two more players opted to follow suit and say goodbye to Minnesota in favor of new teams. Those two players were RB Alexander Mattison, who is officially signing with the Las Vegas Raiders, and Oli Udoh, who will join the New Orleans Saints.

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Former Vikings Players
Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) during warmups against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Mattison’s departure was reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, who tweeted, “Former #Vikings RB Alexander Mattison is signing with the #Raiders, per source.”

Mattison was selected by Minnesota in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Boise State, and he began his career as Dalvin 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.

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.

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham (left) hugs running back Alexander Mattison (2) after losing a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-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.

Meanwhile, Udoh’s signing with the Saints was reported by Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team, who tweeted, “The #Saints are expected to sign former #Vikings G/T Oli Udoh to a 1-year deal, per source. He has 18 career starts.”

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Oli Udoh. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

Udoh, a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has been a depth offensive line piece for Minnesota throughout much of his career. He garnered plenty of criticism for his play as a starting right guard in 2021, and rightfully so.

However, he remains one of the more reliable backup offensive tackle options in the NFL. In 2022, he received a PFF grade of 74.7 for his 189 snaps on the offensive line, which is more than respectable. Considering the Saints have plenty of injury concerns at the tackle position between Trevor Penning and Ryan Ramcyzyk, this signing makes a lot of sense for New Orleans.

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

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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of 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.