A little over a week ago, we heard that the Vikings and Asiata were far apart on a possible contract. Several other teams expressed an interest in the running back at the start of free agency, but Asiata did not make a secret of his desire to stay in Minnesota. Minnesota has been said to value the tailback’s pass-blocking acumen, as well as his prowess near the goal line.
Last year, Asiata re-upped with the Vikings on a one-year deal worth less than $1MM. The deal also included a fair amount of performance bonuses, since neither side was sure about how the running back would be used. In 2015, Asiata ran the ball just 29 times for 112 yards over the course of 16 games. That was a stark contrast to the previous year in which Asiata rushed for more than 500 yards and scored nine touchdowns, and was heavily involved in the passing game, securing 44 receptions. As long as Adrian Peterson stays healthy and the athletic Jerick McKinnon lives up to his potential, Asiata probably isn’t primed for a major role in the Vikings’ offense.
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