Vikings Fan Favorite Leaves Minnesota for AFC East Squad

The Minnesota Vikings lost a long-time contributor and 30-game starter in free agency over the weekend.

Vikings UFA profile: WR K.J. Osborn - Sports Illustrated Minnesota Vikings  News, Analysis and More

Former Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn signed with the New England Patriots on Sunday, March 17, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

“Former #Vikings WR K.J. Osborn is signing with the #Patriots, sources tell me and @RapSheet,” Pelissero reported via X.

K.J. Osborn Worked Way Into Vikings’ Lineup, but Arrival of Jordan Addison Limited His Ceiling

Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota selected Osborn in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft out of the University of Miami. He appeared in nine games during his rookie campaign, exclusively as a special teams player.

Osborn worked his way into the offensive rotation by his second year and played in every regular-season game except for one over the past three years, including a total of 30 starts at the receiver position. He finished his tenure in Minnesota with a total of 158 receptions for 1,845 receiving yards and 15 TDs, per Pro Football Reference.

At times, Osborn served as the No. 2 option in the receiver room, either behind All-Pro Justin Jefferson or when Jefferson was out for a seven-game stretch last season. However, the Vikings drafedt wideout Jordan Addison in the first round in 2023 (No. 23 overall). Addison produced 70 catches for 911 yards and 10 TDs during his rookie campaign, which relegated Osborn’s ceiling to the third slot at the position when the team was at full health.

Osborn now joins former Vikings teammate Jalen Reagor on the Patriots, where he will compete with the likes of Kendrick Bourne, JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeMario Douglas for starting reps — assuming none of those receivers end up elsewhere ahead of the 2024 season.

Former Vikings Wide Receiver K.J. Osborn Life-Saving Hero Off the Field


K.J. Osborn

Osborn was always popular in Minnesota, but his character was on full display approximately one year ago.

The former Vikings receiver assisted in life-saving efforts in March 2023 after pulling a victim from a burning vehicle following a car crash. Osborn was riding in the back of an Uber vehicle when he saw the wreckage on the side of the road.

“Last night myself and these 3 absolute heroes helped save a man’s life by rescuing him from a vehicle up in flames after a bad crash. A situation I’d never imagine being a part of in a million years,” Osborn wrote in an X post following the incident. “I’ll leave you with this. God is real. And His LOVE is real. He will send his angels to be camped around you and provide you with his grace and mercy.”

Osborn elaborated on the event one day later during an appearance on The Adam Schefter Podcast.

“In my head, I’m thinking, ‘This is obviously a big risk. … I don’t have experience in this,’” Osborn told Schefter. “In my head, I’m thinking, ‘This car can blow up at any second, and it can all be over.’”

Osborn’s time in Minnesota is now over, though it was memorable for the player and person he was both on the field and off of it.

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