The Vikings made their release of running back Alexander Mattison official on Monday, moving on from the running back less than a year after they gave him a new deal at the start of free agency.

Releasing Mattison will save the Vikings $3.35 million in salary cap space for 2024, and the decision comes before $2.75 million of his base salary was set to be guaranteed on March 15. The team had signed Mattison to a two-year, $7 million deal to become their top running back as part of a revamped running game last March, banking on the idea his efficiency would help them make up for what they'd lose in explosiveness by releasing Dalvin Cook.

But Mattison's season was plagued by turnovers, including costly fumbles against the Eagles and Broncos, and the fifth-year back finished the season without a rushing touchdown. He scored three times as a receiver, and ran for a career-high 700 yards, but averaged just 3.9 yards per attempt, and had lost his starting job to Ty Chandler by the end of the season.

His release means the Vikings could be in the market for running back help as they look for options to pair with Chandler. The return of fullback C.J. Ham would give the Vikings a pass protector on third downs if Chandler continues to struggle in that part of the game, and they could explore options in free agency and the draft.

After releasing Mattison, the Vikings should have more than $39 million in cap space before the start of the league year on March 13. Releasing veteran Dean Lowry would save them another $2.1 million, and if safety Harrison Smith decides to return in 2024, the team would likely reduce his cap number from its current $19.2 million figure. Smith has no money in his deal that's set to become guaranteed at the beginning of the league year; though renegotiating his contract would give the Vikings more cap space for free agency, there's nothing forcing them to ask the 35-year-old Smith to make a decision on his future if he wants more time.