Recently Released Vikings Receiver Joins Patriots

Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; A Patriots helmet sits on the bench before the first half of a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings put together a 53-man roster and their practice squad. Most of the released players who were close to making the team landed on the practice squad like edge rusher Luiji Vilain who made it last year and rookie seventh-rounder DeWayne McBride. Ben Sims, a rookie tight end, was claimed by the Green Bay Packers. Another player found a new home.

Recently Released Vikings Receiver Joins Patriots

The 53-man deadline was on Tuesday afternoon but the Vikings continued to make moves on Wednesday, signing Myles Gaskin and David Quessenbery to the team to fill the holes created by trading away Vederian Lowe and the injury of Kene Nwanwgu.

Recently Released Vikings Receiver Joins Patriots
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor (5) adjusts his pads during warmup prior to the game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

To make room for that, the Vikings had to release one player and chose to part ways with Jalen Reagor, one year after acquiring him via trade from the Philadelphia Eagles. He needed a fresh start somewhere and he got it in Minnesota in the first year of Kevin O’Connell’s offense. As a late arrival, he was behind in getting acclimated and comfortable with the playbook.

He is now joining the practice squad in New England according to Adam Schefter: “Former Vikings’ WR Jalen Reagor, who cleared waivers today, is signing with the Patriots’ practice squad, per source. The Patriots play the Eagles in Week 1, and Reagor will be a candidate to be promoted for the game.”

The trade cost the Vikings a conditional fourth-round pick and a seventh-rounder, although those conditions were not met and it turned into a fifth-round selection. Reagor was supposed to fill the void at the punt-returning gig and become a depth receiver behind the starters Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn with a different skill set.

Indeed, he made a few nice plays and was the closest thing the Vikings had to a gadget player, someone to receive jet sweeps and screens and make a play with the ball in his hands. But that didn’t work out for long. Throughout his lone year in Minnesota, he recorded eight catches for 104 yards and 1 score, adding 25 yards on the ground on four rushes.

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Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor (5) scores a touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The most memorable plays were a couple of disastrous routes in the comeback win over the Indianapolis that ended in Kirk Cousins throwing the ball to a defender and racking up a pair of INTs that weren’t his fault.

His second job was to field punts, an underrated job. It is not easy to catch the punts with defenders running full speed in the returner’s direction. Making the right decision in the blink of an eye is not an easy task.

Regardless, he struggled at that. PFF ranked him 42nd among 47 punt returners with a horrible grade of 42.0. That is unacceptable for someone whose main job is to return punts. He competed for the same role in 2023 and apparently lost the camp battle to Brandon Powell who made the team while Regaor was cut.

21. Eagles (18): Admirable of WR Jalen Reagor to face the media music after he probably dropped two TD passes Sunday. Less admirable that Philly is putting him in that position and not going to rookie DeVonta Smith instead. Syndication The Record

Still, he looked vastly improved in the preseason, looking like a solid receiving option, catching 8 passes for 93 yards. In New England, he’ll start on the practice squad, trying to earn his way onto the active roster through good practices.

The Patriots employ five WRs on their 53-man roster, in addition to Matthew Slater who is a special teams player only:

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • Kendrick Bourne
  • DeVante Parker
  • Demario Davis
  • Kayshon Boutte

If one of them goes down with an injury, Reagor could be an option to see the field and receive another opportunity. Tre Nixon and Tyquan Thornton are on IR.

The wideout is fighting the demons of a first-round bust, falling out of favors on a couple of different teams three years into his career. He’ll get another fresh start. Reagor is 24 years old and is hoping to unlock his first-round potential at some point.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt