Osborn, entering the final year of his rookie contract, has emerged as a reliable receiving threat in a loaded offense that has numerous stars who need to be paid.
Given the NFL increasingly valuing wide receivers, Osborn could find a lucrative contract elsewhere that the Vikings cannot match. Purple Insider’s Matthew Coller said on a June 19 episode of his podcast he doubts the Vikings would want to make him a competitive offer compared to what he could see in free agency.
“If you look back at what free agents made… if you’re even a decent player you’re going to get huge money that I doubt the Vikings want to pay K.J. Osborn,” Coller said, noting Adam Thielen‘s three-year, $25 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. “So [Osborn] could still be their No. 2 this year and then they just let him go because the price is too high.”
The Vikings drafting Jordan Addison in the first round is also a tell that they’re building to be comfortable at wide receiver and not need to splurge beyond Jefferson.
K.J. Osborn Sounds off on His Future With Vikings
Selected in the fifth round of the 2020 draft, Osborn went from not seeing a single snap on offense his rookie season to emerging as a viable third option in the passing game.
Osborn has reeled in 110 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past two seasons and is presumed to start the season as the No. 2 receiver.
“I do if I’m being completely honest with you,” Osborn said when asked if sees the 2023 season as a chance to become the team’s No. 2 wide receiver back in April. “I know it’s an opportunity. I know there’s stuff ahead. We could still bring guys on and things like that, but at least I can say I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Even with the arrival of Addison, wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell isn’t concerned with any shakiness from Osborn.
“He’s a guy that can handle adversity really well,” McCardell told Purple Insider. “He doesn’t let it break him. He steps up to the challenge. Now that everyone is saying that we drafted Jordan and we’re going to replace him…Us drafting Jordan adds fuel to his fire but he has to have the professionalism to teach [Jordan]. It’s part of how football is.”
K.J. Osborn Helps Save Man From Burning Car
While Osborn looks to leave his mark in Minnesota this upcoming season, the Vikings receiver made an impact last spring by rescuing a man from a burning car in Texas.
“Last night myself and these 3 absolute heroes helped save a man’s life by rescuing him from a vehicle up in flames after a bad crash. A situation I’d never imagine being a part of in a million years,” Osborn tweeted with photos from the night on March 5. “I’ll leave you with this. God is real. And His LOVE is real. He will send his angels to be camped around you and provide you with his grace and mercy.”
The man turned out to be Nelson Thomas, a reality TV star from MTV’s “The Challenge” and the two have stayed in contact since the accident.
“I want to thank [K.J.] for being on the scene and filming my rescue,” Thomas tweeted, adding that he is “forever grateful.”