In this Adopho-Mensahe
In 2023, there will be free-agent decisions to think about among the Minnesota Vikings, Alexander Mattison, Patrick Peterson, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Armon Watts, among others. But these notable names are “normal” during a free-agent period.
General Manager Quesi Adofo-Mensah will have to make a special and big decision this season and next offseason – and get involved. Tight end Irv Smith Jr. holding.
Smith Jr. enters the final year of his rookie contract in 2022 and when one sees his performance on the field, it feels like a no-brainer to re-sign up for his services. However, Smith Jr. missed the whole of 2021 due to a torn Meniskas, disqualifying the Vikings from monitoring his progress.
He was drafted from Alabama in 2019, and at this time of year, pundits and fans predict a breakout season for the 23-year-old. Yet, at some point – perhaps in 2022 – he must make that prediction work. Prior to his injury, Smith Jr. shared Kirk Cousins’ goal with longtime Minnesota TE Kyle Rudolph. When Rudolph left for the New York Giants in 2021, Smith was ready to embark on a TE1 job, but Maniskas thwarted the plan.
The NFL’s best tight end – a classification that goes in the opposite direction for Smith Jr. – typically orders around 110-150 targets in a single season. So far in his career, Smith Jr. has collected the most 47 targets in a single season. And it was his Rocky season.
Quite a difference between forty-seven and 150. Smith Jr., who is in charge of head coach Kevin O’Connell, should be close to the 75-100 mark this season, but he still has to split the focus between Justin Jefferson, Adam Thilen, KJ Osborne and Dalvin Cook (who can play some WR). .
The best TEs in sports earn about $ 10- $ 15 million per season. So, if Smith Jr. maximizes his odd WR-like power in the Vikings 2022 offense, he can expect a paycheck around.
But these items appear:
- Will he play well enough for five years in Minnesota?
- Would Adopho-Mensah splurge on an expensive tight end, if so?
With the Vikings starting the 2022 season these are questions to think about. Smith Jr. is basically a wide receiver in a TE body, which means his explosion seems possible in O’Connell’s offense.
Currently, the Vikings are ranked 20th in the NFL for 2023 Project Cap Space. Much will change between May 2022 and 2023 Free Agency. Still, the takeaway is that the Minnesota Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks will not play with the money-laundering goblins.
Regardless. “Re-sign or not re-sign” Smith Jr. is coming to a digital forum near you in eight months. He will headline all Viking-related free-agent discussions.
Smith has a total of 676 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 29 games of his junior career.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to her daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. She Hosts a podcast With Bryant McKinney, which airs every Wednesday Raun Sai And Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking Fandom dates back to 1996. Listed Criminal Pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (Band).