Another Vikings Free Agency Dream Has Been Dashed

Dec 23, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) reacts during warm ups before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Following the conclusion of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings still had a couple of glaring needs on their roster.

The most obvious of those needs came at the defensive tackle position, but not too far behind is the wide receiver spot as the Vikings simply do not have much right now in terms of a WR3. With that being the case, one of the final Vikings free agency dreams involved landing Tyler Boyd, who has been an ultra-productive player with the Cincinnati Bengals throughout his career.

However, that dream has been dashed as well after Boyd reportedly has reached an agreement with a new team as of Tuesday morning.

Another Vikings Free Agency Dream Is Over

Vikings Free Agency
Jan 15, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) makes a catch while defended by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) during the second half in a wild card game at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

After spending his first eight NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Boyd is now headed to the Tennessee Titans on a one-year contract. The news was reported by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, who tweeted, “Tyler Boyd is signing with the #Titans, per source, on a one-year deal worth up to $4.5M. A reunion with Brian Callahan.”

Boyd was a second-round draft pick by Cincinnati back in 2016, and since then, he has proven to be a very valuable depth receiver. Boyd has totaled at least 54 receptions and more than 600 yards in seven of his first eight seasons. The only time he didn’t surpass those totals in Cincinnati came during 2017 when he missed six games because of injury.

Amidst those seasons, Boyd surpassed 1000 receiving yards in each of 2018 and 2019 before the Bengals added Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase in back-to-back drafts, thus relegating the veteran down to a WR3 role.

Dec 23, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) looks on from the bench against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Pittsburgh won 34-11. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota’s need at WR3 comes after they watched K.J. Osborn leave for the New England Patriots in free agency. Osborn was selected in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and after spending the entirety of his rookie season as a special teamer, he burst onto the scene with the offense in 2021.

During the three seasons from 2021-2023, Osborn amassed 158 receptions for 1845 yards and 15 TDs. However, with Jordan Addison and Justin Jefferson on the roster, Osborn decided to head to the Patriots in hopes of a larger role with the offense.

Since Osborn’s departure, the Vikings have done very little to replace him. They re-signed Brandon Powell, who has been able to step into that WR3 role in a pinch, but he is not nearly as proven as a consistent target.

Aug 5, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) during training camp at Twin Cities Orthopedic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

That WR3 spot seems like an important hole on the Vikings roster for two reasons:

  1. T.J. Hockenson likely will miss at least a portion of the 2024 season with his injury
  2. The Vikings will employ one of Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy as their starting QB

In order to make things easier on whoever becomes the Kirk Cousins replacement this season, it would make sense to surround that quarterback with as much talent as possible. For now, though, the Vikings have done very little to add more depth to their WR room, and another opportunity to do so has gone by the wayside.

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 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.