Vikings Address Overlooked Need, Make Next Signing by Welcoming Back 25-Year-Old Player

Vikings Offseason Plan
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Admittedly, this one was easy to foresee, but Minnesota’s fans should still be encouraged by the news.

By re-signing Nick Muse, the Vikings address a tight end position in need of some sturdier depth. ESPN’s Kevin Seifert was among the many Vikings writers to break the news: “The Vikings re-signed backup TE Nick Muse, who was a pending exclusive rights free agent. He was a 7th-round pick in 2022.”

Vikings Address a Sneaky Need by Re-Signing Nick Muse

The problem is that T.J. Hockenson is working on overcoming a significant knee injury.

When healthy, Hockenson joins forces with Josh Oliver to form an impressive TE duo in Minnesota. Losing Hockenson, though, destabilizes the position quite a bit. Oliver is in town to be a bruiser as a blocker, not pile up 1,000 receiving yards like the TE1.

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Getting Nick Muse back into the mix is a good step for the Vikings.

Not too long ago, PurplePTSD responded to the Theo Jackson signing by suggesting the team’s next moves were pretty straightforward. Just look at the team’s RFAs/ERFAs and that will function as a pretty good hint about the upcoming signings.

Muse, of course, was among those considered: “Muse is very likely to return given that he stuck around the roster last season even though Minnesota boasted wonderful depth at the position in T.J. Hockenson, Josh Oliver, and Johnny Mundt. With the first name on that list — Hockenson — recovering from a serious injury and the final name on that list — Mundt — heading toward free agency, Muse seems like a good bet to continue being a backup tight end for the Vikings.”

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Muse ventured to Minnesota as a 7th-round selection from the 2022 Draft. He was involved in 10 games as a rookie and then 2 games as a sophomore. He didn’t get any playing time with the offense in 2022 but did pick up a pair of snaps for the offense in 2023. In fact, Muse got onto the stat sheet, turning a single target into a catch for 22 yards.

He is still only 25 and has good size at 6’5″, 252. Like almost any depth player, the best thing Muse can do to earn a full-time job is to prove indispensable for the special teams. Doing so keeps him active on Sundays and thus in the mix for snaps on offense. Oh, and showing hustle, toughness, and grit as a blocker will always endear a tight end to a coaching staff.

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Bringing Nick Muse back isn’t going to break the bank. As Andrew Krammer clarifies, the tight end will carry a $985,000 cap charge.

In all likelihood, the Vikings will bring back some more RFAs/ERFAs before it’s all said and done. Versatile and reliable Blake Brandel seems like a good bet as the next deal done.

The Vikings budget is still sitting at roughly $37 million.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.