Patriots add former Vikings receiver, just not the one fans wanted

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings
Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings / David Berding/GettyImages

It has been slower-than-expected free agency so far for the Patriots, and although it has been mostly unexciting, they continue to make moves to improve the team.

They are still focused on the offense, which needs the most help, and on Sunday, they signed former Vikings receiver K.J. Osborn.

It's a move in the right direction and the first outside receiver they have brought in this offseason, but it's not the name many fans were hoping to hear was joining the team, especially from Minnesota.

Because the Vikings seem to be having trouble negotiating an extension with Justin Jefferson, rumors have suggested he may be a player they would be willing to trade. That has become an even more discussed possibility as the draft nears, as they need a quarterback after Kirk Cousins left in free agency.

It appears as though they're loading up with picks to do just that. The Patriots are reportedly on their radar, and the two teams have allegedly already had conversations regarding a trade for the third overall pick.

There has been a hypothesized scenario where the Vikings would swap first-rounders with New England and also add Jefferson and another pick. Fans have gotten their hopes up about one of the league's best suiting up with the Patriots next year, but it's still a fantasy trade at this point.

That is just one reason why there's some disappointment over Osborn's signing. He isn't the former Viking most prayed to be on the team, but that shouldn't negate the talent he can add to the offense in 2024.

At this point in the offseason, it's not looking like the new regime will make any big splashes or blockbuster trades to bring in top-of-the-league players. And the wide receiver pool left available to sign isn't super impressive, so they can't be too picky anymore.

Osborn is a solid addition, though. At just 26 years old, he averaged 600 yards a season during his four years with the Vikings. His stats may not be just off the paper, but he recorded impressive numbers despite playing behind Justin Jefferson every year and then Jordan Addison in 2023.

On top of that, he adds more special teams experience with plenty of snaps on the kicking and punting unit. With special teams in need of a lot of improvement, Osborn is even more valuable.

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