Vikings News: Minnesota releasing RB Alexander Mattison after 5 seasons

Former Minnesota Vikings RB Alexander Mattison
Former Minnesota Vikings RB Alexander Mattison / Michael Owens/GettyImages

After a disappointing performance as the team's No. 1 running back in 2023, the Minnesota Vikings are reportedly releasing Alexander Mattison.

When it was revealed during the 2023 offseason that the Minnesota Vikings had re-signed running back Alexander Mattison to a two-year contract, it was a bit of a surprise.

It was then even more surprising when the Vikings opened up the 2023 regular season with Mattison as their No. 1 running back.

But after a disappointing 2023 campaign that saw him fail to score a single rushing touchdown on 180 carries, Minnesota has reportedly decided to release the veteran running back, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter on Thursday.

Vikings News: Running back becomes a bigger need for Minnesota after Alexander Mattison release

As a result of Mattison reportedly getting released with one year still remaining on his contract, the Vikings will free up $3.35 million in cap space and be left with $1.25 million in dead cap, according to's Jason Fitzgerald.

Following Mattison's release, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, Myles Gaskin, and DeWayne McBride are the remaining running backs on Minnesota's roster with contracts that run through the 2024 season. More than likely, the Vikings will look to replace Mattison's roster spot this year in free agency or in the NFL Draft.

Mattison first joined Minnesota in 2019 when they drafted him in the third round out of Boise State. His first two seasons with the Vikings were promising as the top backup running back behind Dalvin Cook, as he averaged 4.6 yards per carry.

But in the last three years, Mattison was much less efficient out on the field for Minnesota, as he averaged less than four yards per rushing attempt in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Last season, he had a golden opportunity to be a No. 1 RB for the first time in his NFL career, and it turned out to be too big of a stage for him.

Mattison finished the 2023 campaign with 700 rushing yards and no rushing touchdowns on 180 carries (3.9 average per attempt), in addition to catching 30 passes for 192 yards and three scores. He also fumbled three times last season and had a career-high seven dropped passes.