Former Vikings WR Officially Says Goodbye to Minnesota

Reaction to Greatest Comeback in NFL History
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

This offseason has brought with it a great deal of change for the Minnesota Vikings.

One of those changes included saying goodbye to a fan-favorite at the wide receiver position, K.J. Osborn, who signed with the New England Patriots back in March. On Monday morning, the former Vikings WR officially said his goodbye to Minnesota.

Former Vikings WR Says Goodbye

Vikings WR
Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) celebrates during the fourth quarter against Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Osborn posted a reel on Instagram, highlighting some of the best moments of his four-year career with the Vikings. Along with the video, the wide receiver wrote the caption, “A Dream Come True, Thank You Minnesota.”

The wide receiver certainly has come a long way since he was a two-star recruit coming out of high school in 2015. After spending his first four collegiate seasons at the University of Buffalo (one of just two D-1 programs to give him an offer), he transferred to Miami (FL) in 2019 and caught 50 passes for 547 yards and five touchdowns for the Hurricanes.

Evidently, that was enough to get him selected in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft as the Vikings utilized the 176th overall pick to bring him to Minnesota. Osborn spent much of his rookie season as a special teams contributor and was a forgotten player amidst the breakout from Justin Jefferson.

Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) reacts with wide receiver K.J. Osborn (left) after scoring a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins (not pictured) against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

That changed in 2021, though. With the Vikings in need of a consistent WR3 following Olabisi Johnson’s knee injury and the departure of Kyle Rudolph, Osborn stepped up to the plate and delivered an even 50 receptions for 655 yards and seven touchdowns. He appeared in all 17 games and made nine starts.

Osborn put together nearly identical numbers in 2022, catching 60 passes for 650 yards and five touchdowns. He was the catalyst of a number of different big plays throughout the season, and he arguably was the spark plug that ignited Minnesota’s historic comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts, which just so happened to be the 1000th game in Vikings franchise history.

Unfortunately, Osborn wasn’t able to capture the opportunity that was handed to him when Justin Jefferson went down his hamstring injury in 2023. His production dropped off pretty significantly this past season, catching just 48 passes for 540 yards and three touchdowns.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) drops a pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

As a result, the Vikings were content to allow Osborn to walk in free agency this spring. Regardless, the wide receiver’s NFL emergence has been an improbable one, and he is looking to help revitalize a Patriots offense that currently is without a starting quarterback.

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

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.