Former Vikings WR Joins Bears

Former Vikings WR Joins Bears
Tajae Sharpe. Creator: Jim Mone. Credit: AP

The Chicago Bears were busy on Wednesday, signing ex-Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Nathan Peterman and wide receiver Dante Pettis, who most recently played for the New York Giants.

But they didn’t stop there.

Chicago also added former Vikings WR Tajae Sharpe.

Oct 31, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson (84) celebrates after a touchdown with wide receiver Tajae Sharpe. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

Sharpe joined the Vikings at a time when Minnesota desperately craved a productive WR3. The Vikings were top-heavy at the position, transitioning away from Stefon Diggs into Justin Jefferson, and a verdict was not yet known on Jefferson’s eventual superstardom. Sharpe was signed to outfit a WR corps with Adam Thielen, Jefferson, and then-rookie Olabisi Johnson.

But Sharpe did not work out for the Vikings.

The Massachusetts alumnus played in four games for Minnesota, was targeted three times, and caught zero passes. In the end, he wound up on the ash heap of Vikings WR3 hopefuls, embarking elsewhere after a one-year stint.

Elsewhere was the Kansas City Chiefs for a virtually nonexistent tenure and the Atlanta Falcons after that. In Atlanta, Sharpe grabbed 25 catches for 230 yards in Matt Ryan’s final season with the club.

Jul 29, 2021; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Tajae Sharpe. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

Sharpe tested free agency once again, landing with the Vikings divisional foe in the Bears. In Chicago, he’ll join a curious WR group consisting of Darnell Mooney, Equanimeous St. Brown, Byron Pringle, and rookie Velus Jones Jr. That hodgepodge is what Chicago has on the docket for Justin Fields, a second-year passer with 1st-Round draft stock, much to the chagrin of some fans.

Sharpe’s best days were during the first three seasons of his career, catching passes from Marcus Mariota in Tennessee. With the Titans, he snatched 92 receptions for 1,397 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons.

Sharpe has not caught a touchdown since departing the Titans in 2019.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).