Ex-Vikings WR Heading to Patriots for a Chat

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The NFL offseason is in full swing, with three days of free agency in the books. The Minnesota Vikings have signed Josh Oliver (TE, Ravens), Marcus Davenport (EDGE, Saints), and Byron Murphy (CB, Cardinals).

Meanwhile, an almost forgotten wide receiver, is reportedly heading to New England for a chat.

Ex-Vikings WR Heading to Patriots for a Chat

He’s Bisi Johnson, a once-promising wideout who missed back-to-back seasons due to injury in 2021 and 2022.

Heading to Patriots
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NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport tweeted Thursday, “Former Vikings WR Bisi Johnson is flying in to visit the Patriots today, source said. A young WR with upside, he missed all of last season with an injury.”

Johnson nibbled at WR3 roles with the Vikings in 2019 and 2020 — and then again in the summers of 2021 and 2022 before succumbing to serious injuries. His potential role on the 2023 Vikings roster was unclear, but if he’s headed to the northeast for a conversation with Bill Belichick and the gang, returning to Minnesota seems unlikely.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings found Johnson in the 7th Round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Colorado State alumnus has caught 45 passes for 483 yards and three touchdowns in his career. During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, the Vikings never really preached the utility of a big-name WR3, so Johnson adopted the role as his, to a degree. And after the 2021 torn ACL, the 2022 campaign was supposed to be revival. But that was ruined by an ACL tear in the other knee — truly vicious luck.

Before the 2022 injury, Johnson was tentatively trending to make the roster, possibly as a WR4 or WR5 behind Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, and Jalen Nailor. However, Johnson fell injured, the Vikings traded with the Philadelphia Eagles for Jalen Reagor, Ihmir Smith-Marsette was waived, and the rest is history.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Kevin King (20) puts a hit on Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bisi Johnson (81) during their football game Sunday, September 13, 2020, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. Green Bay won 43-34. © Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

After Johnson’s season-ending injury last August, head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters, “I have my fingers crossed that it’s going to be some positive news in some capacity because he’s earned a right, in my opinion, to be on our football team.”

The Patriots currently employ the following WRs with more free agency and the NFL draft on the way:

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • Devante Parker
  • Kendrick Bourne
  • Tyquan Thornton
  • Raleigh Webb
  • Matthew Slater
  • Tre Nixon
  • Lynn Bowden
Vikings WR Tears ACL
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Not exactly a who’s-who of WR supremacy, so Johnson could reasonably catch on if signed by the Patriots.

Johnson will turn 26 on Friday.

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 OverTheCap.com.