4 potential destinations for Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr. in 2023

(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr.
(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /
1 of 4

Which potential destinations could be next for Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. in 2023?

Another devastating injury to Irv Smith Jr. forced the Minnesota Vikings into drastic action. The tight end isn’t expected to see the field again in 2022, which means we could have seen the last of him in the famous purple uniform after the team made a huge splash at the trade deadline.

In came T.J. Hockenson following a bombshell move from the Detroit Lions. While this provides the Vikings with a complete presence at the position to bolster their postseason bid, it does nothing to enhance Smith’s aspirations during an injury-ravaged career over the last three seasons.

Hopes couldn’t have been higher for Smith coming out of Alabama. Minnesota saw enough in the player to make him a second-round selection, but after a promising start, he’s rarely featured thanks to a series of issues staying healthy.

What comes next for Smith when his contract expires next spring is uncertain. Here are four potential destinations where he could end up in 2023.

Team No. 1

Minnesota Vikings
(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /

Minnesota Vikings

Despite things looking bleak for Smith, there’s a chance he’s offered an extension by the Vikings upon returning to full health. This would be in a reduced role thanks to Hockenson’s presence, and considering his injury history, it would likely be a short-term, prove-it deal initially.

Whether Smith would be willing to accept this sort of offer is anyone’s guess. But until he proves capable of putting a consistent run of games together, he might have to suck it up for the time being and go from there.

Hockenson has a tremendous amount of potential within head coach Kevin O’Connell’s system. However, Smith’s athletic upside could mean he gets another chance depending on interest from elsewhere.