Former Vikings draft pick lands with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Irv Smith Jr.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Irv Smith Jr. / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

After a season with the Cincinnati Bengals, former Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. has reportedly signed a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In the middle of his second offseason since his departure from the Minnesota Vikings, Irv Smith Jr. has landed with another new team this year, as the veteran tight end has reportedly signed a contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

According to The 33rd Team's Ari Meirov, Smith and the Chiefs have agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.3 million.

The former Vikings second-round pick is coming off a 2023 season with the Cincinnati Bengals, in which he only caught 18 passes for 115 yards and one touchdown in 12 appearances.

Can former Minnesota Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr. reach his potential with the Kansas City Chiefs?

Back in 2019 when Minnesota drafted him with a second-round selection out of Alabama, Smith was viewed as the eventual replacement for longtime Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Smith showed some flashes of potential during his first two years with Minnesota, and then during the 2021 offseason, a gigantic opportunity opened up after Rudolph was released by the Vikings.

That summer, the young tight end was one of the stars of Minnesota's training camp. There was a ton of hype about what Smith could potentially add to the Vikings' offense in 2021 as the team's No. 1 tight end.

Unfortunately, a knee injury during a preseason matchup against Kansas City prevented him from playing a single snap during the 2021 regular season for Minnesota.

Smith worked his way back from his knee injury, but then he only ended up appearing in eight games for the Vikings in 2022 after sustaining an ankle injury midway through the season.

He became a free agent in 2023 after his rookie deal expired, and he eventually landed a one-year contract with the Bengals.

It seemed like another great opportunity for Smith to get a fresh start and play with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Cincinnati's Joe Burrow.

In the end, however, it was just another letdown for the former Minnesota draft pick.

He got on the field for 12 games with the Bengals in 2023, but five of these matchups were without Burrow starting under center, as the talented quarterback suffered a season-ending injury in a Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Smith's best performance in a Cincinnati uniform in 2023 happened during a Week 9 win over the Buffalo Bills when he finished with three catches for 26 yards and one touchdown.

Looking ahead to his future in 2024 with the Chiefs, the expectations for the veteran tight end are definitely nowhere close to being as high as they were during his first few years with the Vikings.

But maybe having lower expectations will allow Smith to play with a more free mind and make an actual impact on his new team.

Oh, and catching passes from All-Pro Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes should help his chances to succeed in 2024 just a little bit as well.