6 most disappointing Vikings moves of the 2022 offseason

(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) Jim Harbaugh
(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) Jim Harbaugh /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Tyler Conklin /

6. Failing to re-sign Tyler Conklin

Last summer, Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. was having himself a great training camp and preseason. But then Smith suffered an injury during one of Minnesota’s preseason games that required him to have surgery and miss the entire 2021 regular season.

The injury pushed Tyler Conklin into the No. 1 tight end spot for the Vikings and he certainly made the most of his golden opportunity.

In 17 games with Minnesota last season, Conklin finished with 61 catches for 593 yards and three touchdowns, all career-highs for the 26-year-old tight end.

When the 2021 campaign ended, however, Conklin’s contract with the Vikings ran out, and he became a free agent. After four seasons with Minnesota, he ended up signing a three-year deal with the New York Jets worth $20.25 million.

Conklin’s contract with the Jets includes $10 million in fully guaranteed money and he has a cap hit of $3.37 million this year.

This definitely was a price tag that the Vikings could have afforded if they wanted to bring back the tight end. But with Smith returning to the field this year, they likely didn’t want to spend that much money on someone in Conklin who would essentially be their No. 2 tight end next season.

Still, Smith has dealt with plenty of injuries during his short career so far, so being on the field for the majority of the 2022 campaign is far from a guarantee for him.

In addition to his injury concerns, Smith is also in the final year of his contract. Bringing back Conklin on a multi-year deal would have given Minnesota insurance at the tight end position if Smith suffered another injury and if he chooses to sign with another team in 2023.