Vikings Sign New Tight End
Leading up to training camp, the Vikings tried out nine players. One day later, the franchise actually signed one of them.
Vikings Sign New Tight End
The roster had two openings after the release of cornerback John Reid and the roster exception because of the employment of Junior Aho, who doesn’t count against the 90-man roster as a member of the international pathways program.
One spot is filled after the signing of tight end Colin Thompson, as Adam Shefter reported: “Former Panthers’ TE and long snapper Colin Thompson, who spent the past three seasons in Carolina, is signing a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings, per source.”
Thompson enters a position group that was short one player after the surprising retirement of veteran blocking specialist Ben Ellefson earlier in the offseason. The remaining group had just five players in it. T.J. Hockenson is the unquestioned top guy of the group, starring in Kevin O’Connell’s offense right after coming into the building. He also played in his first postseason game with the Vikings, quietly playing well.
Josh Oliver was a free agent signing. He agreed to a three-year $21 million contract, making him the sure number two at the position. Unlike Hockenson, who is a receiving threat, his specialty is run blocking. He is one of the league’s best in that department.
Behind those two top guys, the Vikings employ veteran Johnny Mundt who came with O’Connell from the Rams and surprisingly played well as a TE2 as both a blocker and a receiver. He should be considered the favorite for the third TE spot on the roster. Many teams only have three guys at the position, but a fourth is not out of the question.
Nick Muse, a 2022 seventh-rounder, was mostly on the practice squad as a rookie but could get more chances to prove himself in this year’s training camp and the preseason. He will battle with Ben Sims, an undrafted rookie out of Baylor.
Thompson has the experience of 26 NFL games, and he can play tight end and longs snapper. The Vikings have All-Pro Andrew DePaola playing long snapper, so that position is occupied. He signed a big extension with plenty of guarantees in the offseason. It is also possible that the team wanted an additional body to take some work off of soon-to-be 36-year-old DePaola.
The new signee started six games in his career but logged only one catch with the Panthers in 2020. He was on the field on 284 snaps on offense and 234 on special teams in the NFL after spending his college career at Temple. The 6’4″ and 255 lbs player should be considered a longshot to make the 53-man roster, but crazier things have happened.
Thompson will turn 30 in December, and it could be one of his last chances in the NFL.
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