Patriots Ink Ex-Vikings Wide Receiver to $4 Million Deal: Report

Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn is set to join the New England Patriots, according to NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero on March 17, citing informed sources familiar with the deal.

Patriots signing wide receiver K.J. Osborn

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that the deal is for one year, worth up $4 million.

K.J. Osborn Has Shown Flashes of Serious Star Power

Osborn will transition to New England after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Vikings.

The speedy WR was a 2-star recruit out of high school and played four seasons at the University of Buffalo before transferring to Miami. He was drafted in the 5th round during the 2020 NFL draft.

In his graduate year at Miami, Osborn led the Hurricanes with 50 catches for 547 yards and 5 touchdowns. He was also the team’s top kickoff and punt return man.

While his rookie year saw limited playing time, Osborn has steadily evolved into a reliable receiver, showcasing his deep-threat capabilities within Kevin O’Connell’s offensive system. Over the past three seasons with the Vikings, Osborn has compiled an impressive stat line, amassing 158 receptions, 1,845 yards and 15 touchdowns, boasting an average of 11.7 yards per reception.

During his debut season, Osborn’s contributions were primarily on special teams, as the team’s primary kickoff returner and occasionally handling punt return duties, all while serving as a core player in special teams coverage.

However, his sophomore year marked a significant transition as Osborn emerged as a vital component of Minnesota’s offensive arsenal. He tallied 50 receptions for 655 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns.

These statistics would have positioned him as a leader in receptions for the 2023 Patriots while also ranking second in receiving yards and touchdown receptions.

Osborn has demonstrated his growing impact on the field with an average of 53 receptions, 615 yards and 5 touchdowns over the past three seasons. He is an excellent depth piece that will challenge the rest of the Patriots’ WR room while offering options in both kick and punt return roles.

Where Does This Leave the Patriots WR Room?

Osborn integrates into the Patriots’ wide receiver unit and joins a roster with nine players contracted for the 2024 season.

Alongside Osborn, notable names in the Patriots’ receiving corps include Kendrick Bourne, DeMario Douglas, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Kayshon Boutte, Jalen Reagor, T.J. Luther, and Kawaan Baker, with Osborn reuniting with former teammate Reagor from their time in Minnesota.

With an eye on the upcoming training camp, New England is expected to further bolster its receiving corps as part of the ongoing offensive revamp. Notable recent acquisitions, including quarterback Jacoby Brissett, running back Antonio Gibson, and tight end Austin Hooper, underscore the Patriots’ commitment to reshaping their offensive arsenal for the upcoming season.

Many expect New England to continue adding offensive weapons via the 2024 NFL draft. New Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will have many options when designing the 2024 offensive playbook.

As Osborn embarks on this new chapter with the Patriots, his addition injects fresh talent and depth into the team’s receiving lineup, setting the stage for an intriguing season ahead as New England continues its quest for success in the AFC East and beyond.

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