Where Will K.J. Osborn Land in Free Agency?

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

As the dust settles from the first week of free agency, a number of Vikings free agents remain on the open market.

One of those free agents is WR K.J. Osborn, who caught 48 passes for 540 yards and three touchdowns this past season. With this year’s NFL Draft class looking absolutely loaded at the wide receiver position, it has proven difficult for some veteran receivers to land large contracts so far this spring. However, Osborn is a very reliable player and should have a role with a team in the NFL this season. Here is a look at a few potential landing spots for the veteran.

Los Angeles Chargers

K.J. Osborn
Sep 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) catches a pass against the Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past couple days, the Los Angeles Chargers have parted ways with both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Allen was traded to the Chicago Bears while Williams was released in order to save the team some cap space. As a result, Los Angeles’ receiving room currently looks like this:

  • Quentin Johnston
  • Joshua Palmer
  • Derius Davis
  • Simi Fehoko

On top of their key wide receiver losses, TE Gerald Everett, who caught over 50 passes in each of his two seasons with the Chargers, and star RB Austin Ekeler are both gone. Johnston was a first-round pick by the Chargers last spring, and they are hoping that he can be the future star pass catcher in their offense.

However, the Chargers still could use a reliable veteran to take some pressure off the youngsters. Osborn could be an option.

New Orleans Saints

Nov 5, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) passes the ball against the Chicago Bears during the second half at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints finally made the decision to release Michael Thomas after he spent eight seasons with the team. Following a historic start to his career, including a 149-reception season in 2019, Thomas has gone through a number of serious injuries that have severely limited his availability.

The Saints have a couple of promising young receivers on their roster like Chris Olave, Rasheed Shaheed, and A.T. Perry. However, more veteran depth would be useful to help bring these players along. Considering the Saints also employ former Vikings offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, who helped Osborn break onto the scene in 2021, New Orleans could be an intriguing landing spot for the veteran receiver.

Minnesota Vikings

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) carries the ball for an incomplete touchdown during the first half of the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, there is also the possibility that Osborn simply remains with the team that drafted him. A fifth-round pick in 2020, Osborn has been about as reliable a WR3 as Minnesota could have asked for over the past few seasons.

For now, the Vikings have retained Brandon Powell, but they have not done anything to fill Osborn’s spot on the roster. Stability at the receiver position is very important, particularly for a team set to bring in a young quarterback. Osborn very well could return to the Vikings this season.

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.