5 players Vikings fans won't miss if they don't return in 2024

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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Player No. 2

K.J. Osborn - WR

The Vikings' third receiver position is one of the most glorified positions in franchise history.

Many remember when Jake Reed joined Cris Carter and Randy Moss to form the “Three Deep” stable in 1998; others remember all the clutch plays that Jarius Wright made during the 2010s.

There was a time when fans believed that K.J. Osborn would be the next third receiver to make his mark. But ahead of his pending free agency, he may be a player that just didn’t work out.

Osborn had a strong finish to the 2022 season, catching 25 passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns in his final four games.

But that momentum didn’t translate this season, as he finished with 48 catches for 540 yards and three touchdowns.

While some of his decline may have been due to Cousins’s absence, there were other signs that things weren’t working out.

The Vikings could have made Osborn the No. 2 receiver after Adam Thielen’s departure last spring but decided to draft Jordan Addison in the first round instead.

Osborn also finished 82nd among 95 qualifying receivers with 0.97 yards per route run and was tied for fifth with seven drops last season, according to PFF.

Even with the struggles, Osborn figures to get a decent contract on the open market that could be out of Minnesota's price range.

With Justin Jefferson and Addison in the top two spots, fans may wonder what could have been during Osborn’s four years in Minnesota.