4 impending free agents the Vikings should re-sign in 2022

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Tyler Conklin
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Tyler Conklin /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) Tyler Conklin – Minnesota Vikings /

Tyler Conklin – TE

Irv Smith Jr. is an exciting young tight end but injuries have been far too problematic in the early stages of his career. He should be the starting tight end once he returns next season but the depth behind him has to be a point of emphasis for the front office.

In his first full season as the starter, Tyler Conklin has done a pretty good job. While he is not the athlete that Smith is, Conklin is a very good pass-catching threat for Kirk Cousins. So far this season, Conklin has 47 catches for 469 yards and three touchdowns.

It is very possible that another needy team offers Conklin a starting job in the spring and that would be difficult for him to turn down. He has definitely earned his chance to be the top guy on the depth chart somewhere in the NFL and the Vikings would have a tough time offering him a more enticing deal.

The Vikings have been successful when using tight ends in the passing game but Conklin is not quite the weapon that Smith is when fully healthy. The two would make an exciting duo in the passing game, especially if that means Conklin is no longer used in the screen-catcher role.

Regardless of who the next offensive coordinator or head coach may be, the Vikings would be smart to keep two reliable tight ends on the roster.