Another Part of Vikings Offseason Plan Revealed

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

NFL free agency formally begins in six days, but before that, another part of the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason plan took shape on Tuesday.

Another Part of Vikings Offseason Plan Revealed

The club re-signed tight end Nick Muse, a depth commodity who could actually experience substantial playing time in 2024.

Muse, 25, was scooped out of the draft’s 7th round in 2022 by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and is now on deck for a third act in Minnesota.

Vikings Offseason Plan
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The move arrives as many Vikings fans believed tight end could be a point of emphasis this offseason, mainly because TE1 T.J. Hockenson may not be ready by Week 1. Hockenson suffered a torn ACL against the Detroit Lions in December, courtesy of a dirty hit by defender Kerby Joseph, who injured Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee with a similar hit two weeks later. While Hockenson will return to 100% health, that may not be right away in 2024, so other tight end options are necessary.

The Muse re-signing suggests he could be in play for TE2 behind Josh Oliver next season.

Nick Muse greets campers onto the field during the 2nd Annual Muse Boys 3rd-9th Grade Football Camp Friday morning, June 23, 2023, on the practice field next to Lineberger Stadium on the campus of South Point High School in Belmont. © Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Muse also fired up a memorable preseason last summer for the Vikings, translating to a roster spot during his second season. He saw action in two regular season games after Hockenson’s injury, tallying a single catch. Because of his preseason output, Vikings faithful have labeled Muse an up-and-comer to monitor, and the Tuesday transaction only strengthens their resolve.

Before free agency and the draft, these are the Vikings’ tight ends under contract for 2024:

  • T.J. Hockenson
  • Josh Oliver
  • Nick Muse
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings may also explore re-signing veteran Johnny Mundt, also a bit of a fan favorite, after he produced in the wake of Hockenson’s injury. In fact, Minnesota may end up totally “running it back” at tight end.

Muse, a South Carolina alumnus, played in 10 regular season games last year in 2022, his rookie season — 108 snaps, all special teams. He totaled 805 receiving yards in 31 games as a Gamecock from 2019 to 2021.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Nick Muse (34) gets around Tennessee Titans safety Mike Brown (44) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Minnesota has other major dominoes afoot, too, which should fall next week. Kirk Cousins is scheduled to hit free agency. So is Danielle Hunter. Justin Jefferson needs a gigantic contract extension. And Harrison Smith may retire, take a paycut, or sign with a Super Bowl-contending team.

Muse said last summer during his pursuit of the 53-man roster, “Not many people get to play in the NFL. This is a dream come true for 99 percent of the little kids. I wanted to be how I am right now.”

He’ll turn 26 in November.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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