Former Vikings draft pick shares his true feelings about Minnesota fans

Former Minnesota Vikings WR K.J. Osborn
Former Minnesota Vikings WR K.J. Osborn / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

This offseason, we've seen a number of notable names part ways with the Minnesota Vikings as the team continues to separate itself from the previous regime.

Just in the last two years, the Vikings have said goodbye to guys like Kirk Cousins, Danielle Hunter, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Alexander Mattison, and K.J. Osborn.

Speaking of Osborn, he wound up signing a one-year contract with the New England Patriots earlier this offseason, and on Monday, he shared a video message online to express his appreciation for Minnesota and the team's fan base.

K.J. Osborn thanks Minnesota Vikings with video message on Instagram

During his time with the Vikings, Osborn was always the ultimate professional, and he continued to maintain this status on Monday when he shared a thank you message to the organization, Minnesota fans, his teammates from the last few seasons, and more in a clip he posted on his Instagram account.

The veteran wide receiver began his career with Minnesota when they selected him with a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami.

Osborn didn't make much of an impact on the Vikings during his rookie season; in fact, he didn't even get on the field for a single offensive snap in his first year with the franchise. Any time he got to play for Minnesota during his rookie campaign was spent on special teams.

But then came the 2021 season, and Osborn began to emerge as a solid option for Cousins in the Vikings' passing attack. In 17 games for Minnesota in 2021, the young receiver caught 50 passes for 655 yards and seven touchdowns.

Osborn continued to shine in the role as the Vikings No. 3 receiver in 2022 when he finished with 60 catches for 650 yards and another five scores. After Minnesota released Thielen during the 2023 offseason, some believed Osborn was heading into a great opportunity in his fourth year with the franchise.

Unfortunately, his performance this past season didn't go as planned, as he saw a dip in his targets, thanks in part to the Vikings' decision to use a first-round pick on former USC wide receiver Jordan Addison in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Even when Osborn did get the ball thrown his way, he wasn't as reliable as he was in the past for Minnesota. In 2023, he finished with five drops in 16 games, which was more than the combined total of drops he had in 34 games with the Vikings in 2021 and 2022 (four).

The Patriots will be hoping to get the version of Osborn that everyone saw out on the field in 2021 and 2022. And judging by the other receivers who are currently on New England's roster, the former Minnesota draft pick should get plenty of opportunities to prove that any struggles he had last year are nothing to be concerned about.

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