4 players the Vikings should avoid extending during the 2022 offseason

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Alexander Mattison /

Alexander Mattison – RB

Since his arrival in 2019, Alexander Mattison has been a great backup running back for the Vikings behind Dalvin Cook.

When Cook is healthy, Mattison is typically only on the field for about 10 to 20 offensive snaps per game. But when Mattison has been given the opportunity to start in place of an injured Cook, he’s made the most of his increase in playing time.

In five starts since 2019, Mattison has gained at least 120 yards from scrimmage four times and he’s scored a total of four touchdowns. So he’s definitely shown that he has the potential to be a reliable starter in the NFL.

However, that’s the problem for Minnesota. The Vikings already have a No. 1 running back in Cook and he’s making a good chunk of change.

Mattison’s contract expires in 2023 and Minnesota has shown in the past that they like to give guys extensions who are entering the final year of their current deal. But agreeing to an extension wouldn’t be a good idea for either party.

Mattison could potentially get a lucrative deal as a free agent in 2023 and Minnesota shouldn’t be giving him the money it might take to keep him on their roster for a few more years. Plus, the Vikings selected a talented running back in the 2021 draft in Kene Nwangwu, and he has a chance to develop into a solid backup behind Cook.