The Bears Snatch Another Former Viking

Where Departed 2021 Vikings Went
Aug 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

After the Vikings cut their roster down to 53 players on Tuesday, including making a shocking move by waiving Armon Watts, the Vikings weren’t done with surprises. In another interesting sequence of events, the Minnesota Vikings traded with the Eagles to acquire Jalen Reagor, and to make room for him on the roster, they cut Ihmir Smith-Marsette. On Thursday afternoon, the Bears quickly took advantage and snatched the former Viking up off waivers.

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This is the second Viking in as many days that the Bears have claimed off waivers as they were the team to grab Watts as well. Smith-Marsette is the seventh player to be claimed by the Bears, the most in the NFL.

Wide receiver is certainly a position of need for the Bears, especially as they continue to develop QB Justin Fields. Chicago lost Allen Robinson in free agency this offseason, and yesterday they moved N’Keal Harry to injured reserve. Because of this, prior to the move to acquire Smith-Marsette, their WR room looked like this:

  • Darnell Mooney
  • Byron Pringle
  • Velus Jones Jr.
  • Equanimeous St. Brown
  • Dante Pettis

Chicago is hoping that Mooney can build off his 1000-yard season in 2021, and Byron Pringle certainly helps open up the field. However, the Bears do not have a true second outside receiver on their roster right now. Ryan Poles and the Bears front office are likely hoping that Smith-Marsette can fill that void.

The fifth-round pick did not have much of a role in the Minnesota Vikings offense during his rookie season, but in his limited opportunities, there were big flashes. In particular, Smith-Marsette’s sole start of the season came in the regular season finale against the Detroit Lions, and in that game, he caught all three of his targets for 103 yards and a touchdown.

In the Vikings offense, there are a lot of mouths to feed. It’s possible that Minnesota felt comfortable parting ways with him because of how many talented skill players they have on that side of the field. Either way, Smith-Marsette looks to fulfill a big need for a division rival.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken