The Vikings’ Social Media Celebrates the Team’s “Weirdo”

NFL: Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Muse has been impressive during the preseason, so the Vikings’ decision to highlight him makes some sense.

A 7th-round selection from the 2022 NFL Draft, Muse has been turning skeptics into believers by making plays on a fairly consistent basis. Against Seattle, the depth TE was responsible for turning 5 targets into 3 catches, 10 yards, and a touchdown. Against Tennessee, the depth TE was responsible for turning 4 targets into 3 catches for 46 yards. So, not earth-shattering numbers that prefigure a performance akin to Travis Kelce, but notable nonetheless.

Syndication: The Tennessean
Minnesota Vikings tight end Nick Muse (34) gets around Tennessee Titans safety Mike Brown (44) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

During the most recent game, Muse wore a mic that helped to show off his personality. He comments at the end that he’s being his genuine self, which he characterizes as being a “weirdo.” The team’s social media, in turn, celebrates the player’s peculiarity, writing that the TE “is a weirdo” before declaring, “He is who he is and we love it.”

Well, the weirdo is gunning for a coveted roster spot, no small feat given the talent that’s present at tight end. Can the sophomore earn a spot as either the TE3 or TE4?

Nick Muse, The Vikings’ Weirdo Tight End

Currently, the T.J. Hockenson situation hovers over the Vikings.

The clear-cut TE1, Hockenson is gunning for a hefty pay raise to secure his long-term future (as Dianna Russini of The Athletic reported). Seeking the huge contract is well and good, especially since we’re discussing a player who genuinely is at the top of his position. Yes, there are some reasons to be concerned about committing too much money, but Hockenson is an excellent player who makes Minnesota better.

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants cornerback Rodarius Williams (left) and safety Landon Collins (21) right) tackle Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) during the third quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Behind him are Josh Oliver, Johnny Mundt, and Nick Muse. The first is a guarantee for the roster, the second is probable for the roster, and the third is a toss up for the roster. His performance against the Titans — which gets celebrated in the video below — helped his chances:

Clearly, the young fella has some personality. At various points, Muse seems to relish the opportunity to have the mic on him for the game. And, to be sure, getting some fan attention and optimism isn’t a bad thing for his chances of making the roster.

One gets the sense that he enjoys playing football, an overlooked trait that will endear him to coaches. Generally speaking, coaches want to work with players who are thrilled to be there. That’s true in Pop Warner and the NFL. The various cheesy phrases — golly, good gosh — and singing speak to his enthusiasm to be on the field. As does his self-deprecating claim that he’s among the top-90 smartest players on the team.

Oct 10, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks tight end Nick Muse (9) catches a pass during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

His rookie season featured 108 snaps on special teams but none on offense. The effort in the preseason points toward someone who may be capable of picking up a few offensive snaps in the upcoming season.

Coming out of college, the word was that he’d do better as a blocker. Take a look at what the NFL’s website had to say: “Athletic tight end with good size and the ability to be flexed around formations. Muse is a willing run blocker at the point of attack and has the body control and agility to handle move-blocking duties with some success. He’s average at uncovering within the route but lacks the length and hand talent to consistently win contested catch battles.”

Continued effort as a blocker alongside a bit more improvement as a pass catcher may be just what the doctor ordered for Nick Muse. A roster spot may depend on those abilities.

Muse, 24, goes into the season carrying a modest $870,000 cap charge. If he can provide strong snaps on special teams while being an upside TE4, then Muse will be well worth the number.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.