Running back Alexander Mattison is returning to the Minnesota Vikings and agreeing to terms on a two-year deal, a source told ESPN on Wednesday.
Mattison apparently confirmed the news in a tweetsimply type “SCHOOL,” accompanied by two emojis.
Mattison, a third-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2019, spent four seasons as the primary backup to star running back Dalvin Cook. The two shared a similar skill set, including versatility in the passing game, and Mattison’s presence was routinely valued as Cook dealt with, among other things, a chronic shoulder injury.
Mattison’s return is notable as the Vikings near a verdict on the future of Cook, who is due $11 million in cash in 2023 and must count $14.1 million against the cap.
In his first three seasons with the team, Mattison, who turns 25 in June, started six games while totaling 1,840 all-purpose yards with eight total touchdowns. However, Cook managed to stay healthy in 2022 and started every game of the season for the first time in his career. That relegated Mattison to a more secondary role, and he had a career-low 89 offensive touches for just 374 yards in 17 games — though he had a career-high six touchdowns.
All along, however, there was plenty of evidence that Mattison could well produce in a larger role. During his time in Minnesota, he received at least 20 carries in five games. He averaged 104.4 rushing yards and another 41.4 as a receiver per. outing in these matches.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.