Chiefs Trade Former Vikings WR

Why the Vikings Always Play the Bears at Home to End the Season
Brad Rempel-USA.

At this time last year, the Minnesota Vikings swung a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Jalen Reagor, giving the former 1st-Rounder a fresh start in the NFC North.

To make room for Reagor, the Vikings waived second-year wideout Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

Chiefs Trade Former Vikings WR

Fast forward to 2023, at the same time on the NFL’s calendar, and Smith-Marsette is again on the move, this time traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Carolina Panthers.

Chiefs Trade Former
Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Tuesday morning, the league’s deadline day for roster trimdowns to 53 players, “Trade: Panthers acquired wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette from the Chiefs in exchange for a swap of conditional 2025 seventh-rounders.”

Smith-Marsette joins his fourth team in three seasons and reunites with former WR teammate Adam Thielen in Carolina.

Promising Viking Elevated
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

Found by former Vikings GM Rick Spielman in the 2021 NFL Draft, Smith-Marsette put some impressive highlights on tape in the preseason enough to avoid an outright roster cut in Kansas City but not enough to stay with the Super Bowl champions. Here’s the Panthers new WR corps:

  • Adam Thielen
  • DJ Chark
  • Jonathan Mingo
  • Terrace Marshall Jr.
  • Laviska Shenault Jr.
  • Shi Smith
  • Javon Wims
  • Derek Wright
  • Josh Vann
  • Ihmir Smith-Marsette
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

Smith-Marsette was theorized as Minnesota’s WR4 last summer by most fans, but the Reagor trade canceled that plan. The Chiefs used Smith-Marsette on 13 total plays in 2022, and he did not play in Kansas City’s successful playoff run.

Minnesota selected Smith-Marsette in the 5th Round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but like much of that draft class, he was dismissed by Minnesota’s new leadership regime in 2022. Sixty-three percent of the Vikings 2021 draft class now plays elsewhere.

2-Way Battle Foreseen for Vikings WR4
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

After leaving the Vikings one year ago, Smith-Marsette temporarily latched onto the Chicago Bears. That lasted about seven weeks, and the Bears said goodbye to the young wideout in October after a series of bloopers. Smith-Marsette encountered drops, penalties, fumbles, and generalized futility with the Bears, so the relationship was short-lived.

In 2021 as a rookie, Smith-Marsette caught 5 passes for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. He seemed rather promising in Minnesota but should serve as a cautionary tale that sometimes fans just get it wrong.

If Smith-Marsette remains on the Panthers active roster, he’ll see the Vikings in living color again in 33 days when Minnesota travels to Carolina for a Week 4 showdown.

The Chiefs-Panthers trade can be considered a birthday present for Smith-Marsette; he turned 24 on Tuesday.


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 Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.