Vikings have reportedly had ‘conversations’ with former Jaguars receiver

(Photo by Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) Dede Westbrook
(Photo by Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) Dede Westbrook /

The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly spoken to former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook about possibly joining their team for the 2021 season.

At the top of the current wide receiver depth chart for the Minnesota Vikings are two of the best pass-catchers in the entire NFL in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

Jefferson and Thielen combined for 162 catches, 2,325 receiving yards, and 21 touchdowns during the 2020 campaign and are anticipating the Vikings receiving duo to put up similar numbers in the upcoming 2021 season.

Below Jefferson and Thielen on Minnesota’s wide receiver depth chart is where things begin to feel a little uneasy. If one of these talented pass-catchers has to miss any time next season due to an injury, it could cause the Vikings’ air attack to significantly struggle.

Minnesota Vikings reportedly interested in talented former Jacksonville Jaguars receiver

Minnesota hasn’t added any veteran wide receivers in free agency this year and they waited until the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft to use a selection on a receiver.

But with some additional cap space freeing up after June 1 because of the Kyle Rudolph release, the Vikings could look to add an experienced pass-catcher to their roster before training camp gets underway this summer.

Apparently, Minnesota has already been checking in with some potential candidates this year, including former Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Dede Westbrook. According to NFL insider Josina Anderson on Monday, the Vikings have had “preliminary conversations,” with Westbrook.

Westbrook only appeared in two games for the Jaguars last season due to a torn ACL. But with Jacksonville in 2018 and 2019, he finished both years with at least 66 catches, 660 receiving yards, and three touchdowns.

In addition to the possibility of stepping in as Minnesota’s No. 3 receiver next season, Westbrook is also an experienced return-man. The Vikings are in need of a new punt returner and a new kick returner this year and he is capable of filling at least one of these roles.

If he signed with Minnesota, Westbrook would be reuniting with a familiar face as well since the Vikings’ new receivers coach, Keenan McCardell, had the same role with the Jaguars from 2017 to 2020.

The 27-year-old pass-catcher does reportedly have interest from other teams, so he just has to figure out what he’s looking to accomplish in 2021. The Vikings can offer him a good amount of playing time as both a receiver and a returner in addition to him having a familiar relationship with McCardell.

Could Westbrook end up being the No. 3 receiver Minnesota has been struggling to find for the last few years?