The Dirty Little Caveat to the Jalen Reagor Trade
The Minnesota Vikings administered a deal on Wednesday with the Philadephia Eagles, sending a conditional 4th-Round draft pick and a 7th-Rounder to Nick Sirianni’s team for wide receiver Jalen Reagor.
The Eagles drafted Reagor in the 1st Round of the 2020 NFL Draft — the pick before Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson.
The move sent shockwaves through the Vikings community because, aside from a small rumor about Reagor-to-Vikings on Tuesday from a Philadelphia sports podcast, folks didn’t know Minnesota was in the market for an extra wide receiver.
Folks were wrong.
Reagor instantly snags a WR4 job on the Vikings roster, but an unforeseen dirty little caveat leaked from the trade about an hour after the swap.
General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah waived second-year wideout Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
The second-year pass-catcher, Smith-Marsette, was supposed to earn the WR4 job. But like Armon Watts on Tuesday, the Vikings dropped the Iowa alumnus out of nowhere.
Of course, Smith-Marsette doesn’t have to be gone forever, as the Vikings could add him to the practice squad on Thursday. However, that’s a big maybe. Minnesota released a handful of players on Tuesday that was sniped by other teams — Kellen Mond (Browns), Armon Watts (Bears), and Sean Mannion (Seahawks). The same fate could await Smith-Marsette, and his Vikings career could be kaput.
Smith-Marsette was a fashionable pick to bust out of the Vikings offense in 2022, spearheaded by first-year, offense-first head coach Kevin O’Connell. Most believe O’Connell will pass the football more than his predecessor Mike Zimmer, so more mouths will need feeding. Smith-Marsette was a mouth. As a rookie, he tabulated five catches for 116 receiving yards and two touchdowns while on the field for 86 snaps. He was productive when given a chance.
But now Smith-Marsette enthusiasts — there are many of them — merely wait to see if he clears waivers. He may orchestrate his sophomore damage on a different team.
The aforementioned Reagor was indeed obtained to add a new dimension to the Vikings offense, but he also returns punts, a task on Smith-Marsette’s plate, well, until Wednesday. Overall, Smith-Marsette became expendable with the addition of Reagor — and no one knew it.
If the 23-year-old ends up on the practice squad, the shock and awe of Smith-Marsette’s release will be much ado about nothing. That just isn’t guaranteed. Ask the Vikings front office about it, particularly in dealing with Harrison Hand. He was swiped by the New York Giants last week in a similar situation.
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).