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. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images). Irv Smith Jr. /

Chicago Bears

Should Irv Smith Jr. and the Minnesota Vikings go their separate ways before free agency, then he might end up getting some interest from within the division. The Chicago Bears could fall into this category, given how little Cole Kmet has contributed in 2022 so far with increased expectations on his shoulders.

The Bears are a team in flux right now. Their offensive line is an abomination, and even after trading for Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers, more must be done next spring to maximize Justin Fields’ obvious talents under center.

Fields flashes moments of genuine quality. The consistency needs to improve, but moving both Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith from the defensive side of things before the trade deadline is the biggest indicator yet that Chicago’s thrown in the towel and is now turning its attention to 2023 and beyond.

Building around Fields is absolutely critical. An upgrade at the tight-end position would go a long way to achieving that, and although there are risks attached to signing Smith, the reward is also extremely high, given the player’s outstanding skill set.

Acquiring additional knowledge of how the Vikings run things under Kevin O’Connell only sweetens the pot for Chicago in this scenario.