With the departure of Toby Gerhart to the Jags earlier in the month, the Vikings need to solidify depth at the running back position. After making the most of his opportunities in 2013, Vikings third year backup RB Matt Asiata signed a one-year $570,000 contract in Minnesota and will be given the opportunity to earn the number two RB job in 2014.
Vikings new Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner is known as being a passing guru, but without a quality starting QB, the Vikings will need to lean on their running game. Peterson, of course, will get the bulk of those carries, but Matt Asiata is now poised to occasionally spell Peterson, and become his primary backup.
Asiata finished the season with 144 yards on 44 carries, including a 100 yard game against Detroit, and a three TD effort against Philly. While being complimentary of Asiata and the job he did when Peterson and Gerhart went down, GM Rick Spielman mentioned the team still needs depth at RB.
"Matt stepped in and did a great job for us last year," Spielman said. "But I know that you can't go into the season with just two running backs. So that's an area that we've talked about, a couple of running backs that are currently out on the market but also honed in on a couple of running backs in the draft as well.''
If Asiata enters the season as the number two back in Minnesota, he will be a must own handcuff for Peterson owners.