Another Vikings WR Target Is off the Board

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings WR2 in 2023 won’t be Adam Thielen, as the Minnesotan became a Carolina Panther last weekend.

And it also won’t be Thielen’s new teammate, D.J. Chark, who joined those same Panthers Friday morning.

Another Vikings WR Target Is off the Board

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted, “The Panthers aren’t done adding on offense, agreeing to terms with WR DJ Chark on a 1-year deal, sources say. A complete remake of the Carolina offense is underway, and Chark will be a big part. As will their new rookie QB.”

WR Target Is off
Kirthmon F. Dozier-USA TODAY Sports.

Chark, who will turn 27 this September, joins his third team in six seasons after four years in Jacksonville and a pitstop with the Detroit Lions in 2022. Along with Terrace Marshall, Laviska Shenault, and Shi Smith, Chark will run with Thielen in 2023, presumably forming a decent WR1-WR2 tandem.

The Vikings didn’t have any verified interest in Chark, a player known for his fabulous size and speed, but had frequented inhabited the “who will they get to replace Thielen?” rumor mill since the early part of the offseason. Now, with Chark off the board to the NFC South, Minnesota is really down to Odell Beckham or bust for a WR2 in free agency. It’s becoming more apparent that Vikings bossman Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will use early-round draft capital to select a Thielen successor.

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) makes a touchdown reception in the first quarter of the NFL Week 4 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. © Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

The Jacksonville Jaguars discovered Chark in the 2nd Round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The man created headlines — especially for fantasy football purposes — during his sophomore season with the Jaguars, registering 73 receptions for 1,008 yards 8 touchdowns, and a Pro Bowl nod. The LSU alumnus has played five years in the NFL, tallying 177 receptions for 2,544 yards and 18 touchdowns in 54 games. He averages 47.1 receiving yards per game and can be a homerun hitter for deep balls when targeted. He’s known for his size (6’4″) and speed (4.34 forty-yard dash in 2018).

Since turning pro, Chark has caught touchdown passes from Nick Foles, Mike Glennon, Jared Goff, the Urban Meyer edition of Trevor Lawrence, Jake Luton, and Gardner Minshew — not exactly a who’s-who of quarterback majesty. Perhaps the man could thrive with a single QB1 or a passer more talented than that hodgepodge. For now, he’ll settle for Andy Dalton — with an eventual clump of C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, or Will Levis.

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports.

Here’s the Panthers full WR room with the Chark addition as of March 24th:

  • WR1: Adam Thielen
  • WR2: D.J. Chark
  • WR3: Laviska Shenault
  • WR4: Terrace Marshall
  • WR5: Shi Smith
  • WR6: Preston Williams
  • WR7: Derek Wright
  • WR8: C.J. Saunders

And without Chark to Vikings, this is Minnesota’s current rendition:

  • WR1: Justin Jefferson
  • WR2: K.J. Osborn
  • WR3: Jalen Nailor
  • WR4: Jalen Reagor
  • WR5: Brandon Powell
  • WR6: Blake Proehl
  • WR7: Trishton Jackson

The Vikings could target Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State), Quentin Johnston (TCU), Zay Flowers (Boston College), or Jordan Addison (USC) in the draft with the No. 23 pick, particularly with most free-agent WR options exhausted.

In addition to Thielen, former Vikings Xavier Woods (S) and Myles Dorn (S) are also on the Panthers current roster.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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