3 WRs Vikings Can Still Sign in Free Agency

Jul 27, 2022; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Jalen Guyton (15) during training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

The search is still on for the man to replace Adam Thielen as the Minnesota Vikings WR2.

Thielen was released and has since signed for the Carolina Panthers. Meanwhile, all has been quiet regarding the Vikings search for a replacement. There are still plenty of free-agent wide receivers out there, and here’s a look at the options.

Minnesota has already signed one, in the form of former Rams and Chargers WR Brandon Powell. A player well-known to Kevin O’Connell and Wes Phillips from their time in LA, Powell is a gadget player with plenty of experience as a returner. He is competition for Jalen Reagor and not a possible solution to the Vikings WR2 question.

3 WRs Vikings Can Still Sign in Free Agency

The Vikings may look to the draft for a wide receiver, however, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah already has a track record of filling out his team’s roster with viable starters at every position. That doesn’t look the case at WR unless he views K.J. Osborn as the next man up and believes one of Jalen Reagor or Jalen Nailor is ready to step into the slot receiver role. It would be a surprise if the Vikings didn’t bring in another receiver with at least some starting pedigree and potential.

Odell Beckham

3 WRs Vikings Can
May 4, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

One of the big stories of the offseason has been the landing spot for Odell Beckham. We are still waiting for an answer as speculation rages on. Are the Vikings serious contenders in the OBJ sweepstakes? Many teams are interested, and the big question marks are injuries and money. Beckham missed the 2022 season due to an ACL injury he suffered playing in Super Bowl LVI. With the injury history, how much money will the wide receiver command as a free agent?

In his words, $4 million isn’t enough and will probably be considerably more. We are several years removed from Beckham being one of the league’s top wide receivers. However, if he can stay healthy, he could thrive in an offense like coach O’Connell’s.

He would also be a glamorous signing, something the Vikings offseason currently lacks. Signing Beckham would be seen as a statement of intent to excite the fanbase.

D.J. Chark

NFL: New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars
Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) talks with ex-quarterback Mark Brunell (left) prior to the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports.

The other option that would definitely come in as a starter is DJ Chark.

At 26 years old, he would fit into the mid-twenties age bracket that the Vikings seem to be targeting. Chark also has a history of injuries that have hampered the progress of the former second-round picks career. He had one 1,000-yard season in 2019 when he was also selected for the Pro Bowl. He played in 11 games that season but only managed 15 over the last two seasons combined.

Plenty of talent is there, and he is the best option on the market right now. The fact he’s still available when so many teams are reportedly interested could be down to that injury history. He will undoubtedly demand a contract of $10+ million a year.

Who is going to give him the money and perhaps a multiple-year contract? Will it be the Vikings? It’s a move I would favor if the deal is right, as I believe he would make an excellent running buddy for Justin Jefferson.

Jalen Guyton 

Dec 12, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Jalen Guyton (15) celebrates at the end of the game against the New York Giants at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Nowhere near as flashy as the first two options, but if the Vikings are looking for a guy to compete for a place — whether that’s with an incoming rookie or the rest of the currently contracted wide receivers — Jalen Guyton could be the guy.

Drafted by the Chargers in 2019, Guyton showed promise in Years 2 and 3 in LA. He started 11 games, making 59 catches for 959 yards and six touchdowns across the 2020 and 2021 seasons. 

Unfortunately, no further progress was made in 2022, as he made just two catches for 64 yards before a torn ACL against Jacksonville in Week 3. Guyton is a free agent after his rookie contract ended and could be a bargain pickup for somebody. He has big-play potential but may have to prove his fitness before teams make a move.