Vikings Urged — Again — to Sign Former Pro Bowler

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O'Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

They won’t stop until Hunter Renfrow signs with the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings Urged — Again — to Sign Former Pro Bowler

The purple team has a WR3 battle afoot, with training camp 19 days away, and NFL-themed media can’t resist the fit for Renfrow inside Minnesota’s offense.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

Pro Football Network called for the relationship this week, though it’s unclear if general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will oblige. PFT’s Lorenzo Reyna sized up one free agent per team that would check boxes, and for the Vikings, it was Renfrow.

“Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison are the 1-2 punch, but Minnesota could use a No. 3. Hunter Renfrow remains unsigned. Perhaps he can be the new Adam Thielen here, especially with J.J. McCarthy as the future under center,” Reyna wrote.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

For now, without Renfrow, these are the Vikings’ wide receivers, a group that will dwindle to five or six names by the end of summer:

  • Justin Jefferson
  • Jordan Addison
  • Brandon Powell
  • Trent Sherfield
  • Jalen Nailor
  • Trishton Jackson
  • Lucky Jackson
  • Thayer Thomas
  • Malik Knowles
  • Ty James
  • Jeshaun Jones

Renfrow had 1,038 receiving yards in 2021, which wasn’t terribly long ago. The production has diminished since, but he has that volume gene in his DNA. Conveniently, Renfrow is a free agent, and many wonder why no team has taken the plunge for his services as a WR3 or WR4. Adofo-Mensah selected zero wide receivers during the draft, even though the event was filled with promising WR3 types.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who was hired in January 2022 after the club parted ways with Rick Spielman. The Vikings finished 13-4 in Adofo-Mensah’s first season as general manager.

Otherwise, if Renfrow doesn’t interest the Vikings, a handful of free-agent wideouts are available — like Michael Thomas or Julio Jones. Minnesota could also have undercover plans to promote someone not named Nailor, Powell, or Sherfield. Men like Thayer Thomas, Trishton Jackson, or an undrafted free agent from this year could emerge.

The PFT recommendation wasn’t standalone, either. In May, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell predicted that Minnesota could sign Renfrow and explained, “The Raiders unsurprisingly cut Renfrow after the season. I wouldn’t expect him to land much more than a one-year deal for just over the minimum at this point of free agency, but at that price tag, taking a flier on the 28-year-old seems like a reasoned move. He also returned punts during his time with Vegas, which helps if he’s going to be a fourth or fifth wideout on game day.”

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports.

A month later, ESPN’s Aaron Schatz noted about the purple WR situation while advocating for Renfrow, “Brandon Powell had an average receiving DVOA on 44 targets in 2023, but his 324 receiving yards represented a career high after six years in the league. There are a lot of inexperienced players after him on the depth chart, plus veteran Trent Sherfield, who had just 11 catches in Buffalo last season.”

“Minnesota could use a veteran slot receiver who knows how to get open underneath while Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison are stretching defenses. Randall Cobb would be another possibility, although he turns 34 in August,” Schatz added.

So, everyone is asking for it — similar to requests for Dalton Risner last offseason. We shall see if Minnesota takes the plunge.

Renfrow will turn 29 in December.

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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