Vikings WR Heads to New England

First it was Kirk Cousins heading to Atlanta. Then, Danielle Hunter and Jordan Hicks also left Minnesota.

Now, the Minnesota Vikings have seen another one of their free agents part with the team for greener pastures. The latest departure is Vikings WR K.J. Osborn, who is signing a contract with the New England Patriots for the 2024 season.

Vikings WR Heads to New England

Vikings WR
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The news was reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, who tweeted, “Former #Vikings WR K.J. Osborn is signing with the #Patriots, sources tell me and @RapSheet.”

Osborn was selected by the Vikings in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and he had to earn his way into the WR rotation. The Miami Hurricanes product spent his rookie season largely as a special teams contributor, playing nine games and recording 14 kick returns for 303 yards as well as seven punt returns for 27 yards.

Then, Osborn got his chance to contribute in 2021 when Olabisi Johnson went down with a torn ACL. Playing as the WR3 alongside Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, Osborn flourished in his new role. He recorded 50 receptions for 655 yards and seven touchdowns.

Oct 31, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) reacts with wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) after scoring on a 20 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins (not pictured) as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown (30) looks on during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Since that season, Osborn has remained one of the more reliable WR3s in the entire NFL. He followed up his 2021 season with 60 receptions for 650 yards and five touchdowns in 2022 while arguably being the catalyst of the greatest comeback in NFL history against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. He caught 10 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown in that game.

In 2023, Thielen left the team, and Osborn saw a rookie step into the WR2 role after the Vikings selected Jordan Addison in the first round of the draft. Even still, the receiver kept his head down and put together 48 receptions for 540 yards and three touchdowns.

Hard work and an elite competitive mentality have gotten Osborn this far into his NFL career, and now, he has a chance to take on a larger role with the Patriots this season, and potentially, a rookie quarterback if New England selects one with the third overall pick.

Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) reacts to his catch against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

As of now, the contract details of Osborn’s deal with the Patriots are unknown. The wide receiver will turn 27 years old on June 10th.


Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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