4 Ex-Vikings Associated with Jets Roster
A bit of a reunion is on the docket this Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings (9-2) host the New York Jets (7-4). Four ex-Vikings play for the Jets, and two will be on the field.
The Vikings hope to maintain the NFC’s No.2 seed in the playoff chase, while the Jets cling to a seventh seed coveted by the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers. A win for New York isn’t absolutely required to stay in the hunt but would assuredly help.
And in the quest to safeguard their postseason chances, New York employs these former Vikings.
Tyler Conklin (TE)
Tyler Conklin stole the show in the Vikings TE room last year, tabulating an unexpected 593 yards on 61 receptions for 3 touchdowns. Minnesota traded for a man named Chris Herndon before the 2021 season began, but he was ignored in favor of Conklin.
And thanks to his impressive 2021 campaign, Conklin cashed in via free agency with the Jets, landing a deal for three years and $20.5 million. The Vikings couldn’t afford that monetary figure, Conklin walked to the Big Apple, Minnesota put eggs in Irv Smith’s basket, and later traded for T.J. Hockenson when Smith was injured. Catch all that?
Well, Conklin is on pace for 589 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns during his first season with the Jets. Does that statline sound familiar?
Mike Remmers (OL)
A reservist guard in New York, Remmers rarely sees playing time. The 33-year-old did, though, play substantially for the Vikings in 2017 and 2018 as a starting guard-tackle and was actually fairly decent at times.
Kirk Cousins arrived in 2018, and for some reason, Remmer’s skillset seemed to decline that season, making his return to the Vikings in 2019 deprioritized. He’s played for the New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, and Jets since.
When the Vikings offensive line struggled mightily in 2016, Remmers and Riley Reiff were the “big” free-agent additions to act as the cure.
Chazz Surratt (LB, Practice Squad)
An alumnus of the Vikings fallen 2021 draft class, Surratt is on the Jets practice squad. It is unlikely that he will get the nod in Week 13 at the Vikings, but stranger things have happened.
Minnesota, under a different leadership regime, spent a 3rd-Round draft pick on Surratt in 2021. He was a part of ex-general manager Rick Spielman’s final draft class — a group of youngsters cast aside, for the most part, when Kwesi Adofo-Mensah rolled into Minneapolis.
Surratt has played on 109 special teams snaps in his career with Minnesota and New York but never any linebacking duties.
Dru Samia (OG, Injured Reserve)
Wipe that smirk off your face; we’re not kidding.
Samia was another Spielman special, chosen in the 4th Round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He was billed as big, nasty, and mean coming out of the draft from Oklahoma, but that was farcical.
Minnesota tried oodles of half-measured remedies to fix the right guard spot in 2019 and 2020, including Samia and a man named Dakota Dozier (who used to play for the Jets).
But Samia emphatically didn’t catch on with the Vikings and departed the team in 2021 free agency. He hasn’t experienced a regular season snap since 2020 and was placed on injured reserve in July.
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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 Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
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