Veteran wide receiver K.J. Osborn probably won't be back with the Minnesota Vikings in 2024, so where might he end up this offseason?
Following the departure of Adam Thielen last offseason, many expected Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn to get at least a few more opportunities to make plays in the 2023 campaign.
In 2021 and 2022, Osborn finished each season with at least 50 catches, 650 receiving yards, and five touchdowns. So, more of the same, if not better was expected of the Vikings pass-catcher in 2023.
Unfortunately, for Osborn, that's not exactly what happened, and he actually put together a pretty underwhelming performance for Minnesota during the 2023 season.
Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens listed as possible destinations for Minnesota Vikngs WR K.J. Osborn
In 16 appearances for the Vikings during the 2023 campaign, Osborn only hauled in 48 passes for 540 yards and three touchdowns. He also saw a significant increase in drops last season, as he dropped a total of five passes in 2023, which is more than the number of drops he had in 2021 and 2022 combined (four).
Osborn is a free agent this year, and he's probably not going to end up re-signing with Minnesota. If the Vikings end up bringing back Brandon Powell this offseason, then Osborn would likely end up behind him on the team's depth chart if he remained with Minnesota.
A fresh start could be needed for Osborn, and based on a recent list of possible free-agent destinations shared by PFF's Brad Spielberger, that fresh start could happen in the AFC North next season.
Spielberger listed the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns as potential landing spots for the Vikings wide receiver this year, with a little extra emphasis on the Browns given the connection Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski has to Minnesota.
Here's why Spielberger believes Osborn to the Browns this offseason is believable.
"With Marquise Goodwin, James Proche, and Jakeem Grant all free agents, former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski recruits a Viking he didn’t coach but perhaps helped scout before taking the Browns head coaching job."
As Spielberger points out, Stefanski left the Vikings a few months before Osborn was drafted by Minnesota in 2020, but the current Cleveland head coach could have done some scouting on the young receiver before leaving the Vikings.
The Ravens are also a good possibility, given that wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Nelson Agholor, and Devin Duvernay are all currently scheduled to become free agents this offseason. Osborn is younger than both Beckham and Agholor, and the Minnesota pass-catcher was more productive than both of them in 2023 as well.
It seems safe to say that an NFL team likely give Osborn a chance to continue his pro football career in 2024, but that team just probably isn't going to be the Vikings.