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Bring Tyler Johnson Home

Should the Vikings bring the Gophers’ legend to their roster?

NFL: OCT 18 Packers at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders announced on Monday that former Golden Gopher Tyler Johnson was released after rookie minicamp. Johnson was drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft and had spent most of his time in Tampa Bay where he won a Super Bowl. He also had a brief stint with the Houston Texans and formerly, the Las Vegas Raiders.

With most of Johnson’s playing time coming with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Houston Texans, Johnson has 48 receptions on 73 targets, a career-long reception of 35 yards and 2 total touchdowns. While these stats might not seem productive, Johnson spent most of his time in the NFL behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and had to earn the trust of Tom Brady.

In college, Tyler Johnson was one of the most productive receivers in the NCAA. With the three years spent with the Golden Gophers, Johnson had 3,305 receiving yards, 16 100 yards receiving games, and 33 touchdowns. Johnson was awarded for his efforts by adding All-Big10 first team twice (2018, 2019) with an honorable mention as well in 2017, the Bruce Smith Award in 2019 which goes to the Most Outstanding Athlete in College Football, and was College Football’s Outstanding Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2016.

Even with the recent addition of Jordan Addison to the team, Johnson would have to fight for playing time here, but bringing him home to Minnesota just might be what the 24-year-old veteran receiver needs. IF Tyler Johnson signed here, he would presumably take the WR4 spot behind Jefferson, Addison, and KJ Osborn. So it would be up to Jalen Nailor and Tyler Johnson to battle for that 4th spot, but as they say, competition breeds success. I would like to see the Vikings bring in Tyler Johnson for camp this summer and give him a tryout for the vet minimum. Worst case, he gets cut again. Best case, he develops into a true wide receiver and we can have the three-deep Minnesota Vikings again.

Let’s at the very least give Johnson an opportunity. I believe there is a fit here in Minnesota, and playing in front of his home state, just minutes from where he grew up, could essentially light the preverbal fire under him and kickstart his career. This signing would be a very low risk for the Vikings considering he won’t be asking for much, just an opportunity at this point in his career.

Should the Vikings send Tyler Johnson a camp invite this summer?