Vikings Re-Sign Reliable Free Agent Tight End

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Free agency is around the corner and everyone is looking ahead at the looming decision of Kirk Cousins. The passer is scheduled to depart from the organization after wearing the purple jersey for six seasons in a packed free-agency class. Danielle Hunter, D.J. Wonnum, K.J. Osborn, Jordan Hicks, and Dalton Risner are other meaningful contributors who might have played their final downs as Vikings.

Vikings Re-Sign Reliable Free Agent Tight End

Vikings Re-Sign Next Free Agent Tight End
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But general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is making sure to re-sign some key depth players. He has already secured backup safety Theo Jackson just like tight end Nick Muse.

In addition to Muse, the Vikings re-signed another replacement tight end, bringing back the full group from last season. Veteran Johnny Mundt will be under contract for a third season, the team announced on Friday.

Tight end is a crucial position for the Vikings with starter T.J. Hockenson currently recovering from a torn ACL suffered during a controversial hit from Lions defender Kerby Joseph. For Mundt, that injury might be a big reason why he is returning as he could prove how valuable he can be if asked to enter a larger role.

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In the aftermath of the Hockenson injury, head coach Kevin O’Connell praised his veteran:

They are both going to take on bigger roles. I think you’ll see Johnny (Mundt) a little more on some of those third downs. You guys have heard me talk about Johnny Mundt in the past and why we wanted to have him here and just his role and value is he’s really a jack of all trades kinda guy and he’s always taking reps right behind T.J. (Hockenson) when it’s critical pass game and he’s always ready to step in the way he did last week against Detroit.

Kevin O’Connell

Minnesota played the final two games of the 2023 season without the weapon, leaving Josh Oliver who is primarily a blocker, and Mundt as the two guys in charge of the TE room. Mundt was the main beneficiary from a production standpoint as he snatched nine passes for 97 yards and his second NFL touchdown.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Johnny Mundt (86) scores a touchdown on a six-yard reception while being covered by Green Bay Packers cornerback Keisean Nixon (25) during the fourth quarter of their game Sunday, December 31, 2023 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings 33-10.

Throughout the year, Mundt played in all 17 games and logged 17 receptions for 172 yards and one touchdown. He played 223 snaps on offense, roughly 20% of the total plays.

As the first games of Hockenson’s 2024 campaign are in question, Mundt could be asked to repeat his performance. The tight end followed O’Connell to Minnesota when he departed from Los Angeles to become the new head coach of the Vikings. Mundt had been with the Rams for five seasons, playing in 47 games. A torn ACL cut his 2021 season short but the Super Bowl title is still on his resume.

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Mundt has shown that he can be a reliable target if needed and the Vikes rewarded that by re-signing him. According to Tom Pelissero, it is a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.

Mundt is 29 years old and will not enter the free agency pool.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt