The Vikings agreed to terms on a new deal with running back Alexander Mattison on Wednesday night, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. The move brings the 24-year-old back for another two years and could reshape the team's backfield.

Mattison had only 404 carries in his first four years with the Vikings. His 74 carries in 2022 were the fewest of his career, as Dalvin Cook played every game for the first time in Minnesota. Mattison's work in spot starts — he posted five games of at least 90 yards while playing in relief of Cook from 2020-21 — earned him plenty of trade interest from other teams before last season, and he seemed set to hit the open market in search of a job that would come with a larger role in the offense.

If his deal in Minnesota, reportedly worth $7 million over two years, makes him a more prominent piece of the offense, it's worth wondering what will happen to Cook. The 27-year-old has a $14.1 million cap figure for 2023, which would be the third highest in the league. Cook had a career-low 15.5 carries per game in 2022, and had shoulder surgery after the season. He has $2 million of his base salary guaranteed for injury, and the figure would become fully guaranteed on Friday. The Vikings, though, would save $5.9 million by releasing him, and $7.9 million if they were to trade him.

Mattison scored a career-high five rushing touchdowns in 2022, and saw some playing time as a third-down back, catching a screen pass for the opening touchdown in the Vikings' 28-25 win over the Saints in London on Oct. 2. According to data from NFL Fast R, Mattison had a 45.9% success rate on his carries last year, meaning the percentage of plays with positive Expected Points Added, compared to a 34.4% success rate for Cook.

Mattison's efficiency metrics on running plays stood out in light of coach Kevin O'Connell's call for the Vikings to make more significant progress toward a new set of downs when running the ball.

"I think the home runs and the long ones are great, but as a play caller, I would love to be second-and-5," O'Connell said at the combine. "If you tell me I'm in second-and-5, here we go: We're in a position to do a lot of different things. Second-and-5 is a really great place to be for an offense like ours, with the type of personnel we have, so what hurts is second-and-10, second-and-11, second-and-12 into a third-and-8 on the road with crowd noise. …

"When we run the football better, hopefully we can give ourselves a lot more friendly circumstances to try to attack."

In addition to reaching a new deal with Mattison, the Vikings announced agreements with three free agents — Saints pass rusher Marcus Davenport, Ravens tight end Josh Oliver and Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. — that were previously reported. They also re-signed two of their restricted free agents, defensive end Kenny Willekes and tight end Ben Ellefson.

Wednesday was the first day of the league year, marking the official start of NFL free agency after a two-day negotiating period.

Davenport, Oliver and Murphy will fly to Minnesota on Thursday for physical exams before their deals can become official, and will be introduced at a news conference in the afternoon. Their contracts will not hit the salary cap until they're signed, and the Vikings could be working on other roster moves before then to free up cap space, such as a possible restructured deal for safety Harrison Smith.

Davenport has been a defensive end in the Saints' 4-3 system his entire career, but the Vikings listed him as a linebacker on their news release announcing the agreement Wednesday. If they intend to make Davenport an outside linebacker, it could affect what they do with Za'Darius Smith, who has a $15.49 million salary cap figure for 2023.