4 Vikings we already know will (probably) be gone in 2023

(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Alexander Mattison
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Alexander Mattison /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /

Irv Smith Jr. – TE

Irv Smith Jr., unlike Cam Dantzler, but more like Bisi Johnson, knows what it’s like to be injured, and the negative repercussions it can have on a player’s career.

Drafted in the second round of the 2019 draft, Smith’s impact on the team has been a slow rise, and has had to miss all of last season and the preseason this year due to injury.

Never eclipsing 400 receiving yards, the tight end has also seen key moments slip him away due to drops. His most infamous one came against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2. Between injury and play, Smith has also been outperformed.

Last year, when he was out for the season with a knee injury, the tight end saw his backup Tyler Conklin gain more receiving yards in a season than Smith ever has, with 593. After leaving for continued success with the New York Jets this past offseason, Conklin might have given Minnesota the reality check it needed about Smith.

Added in the fact that Smith’s contract runs out with the team next year, they might look to cut ties sooner than later. At 24-years-old, the team could potentially look for something in the trade market for him or let him walk.

Either way, it’s hard to imagine Smith back in purple and gold next year.