What potential destinations could be next to Irv Smith Jr.’s Minnesota Vikings tight end in 2023?
Another devastating injury to Irv Smith, Jr. forced the Minnesota Vikings to take drastic action. The tight end isn’t expected to see the field again in 2022, which means we could have seen the last of it in the iconic purple after the team made a huge splash at the trade deadline.
TJ Hockenson came after a bomb move from the Detroit Lions. While this provides the Vikings with a full presence in the position to bolster their post-season display, it does nothing to further Smith’s aspirations during a career wracked by injuries over the past three seasons.
Hopes couldn’t be higher for Smith’s exit from Alabama. Minnesota saw enough in the player to make him a second-round pick, but after a promising start, he rarely appears thanks to a series of issues keeping him healthy.
What will happen next for Smith when his contract expires next spring is uncertain. Here are four potential destinations where it could end up in 2023.
Team No. 1
Although things look bleak for Smith, there is a chance that he was offered an extension by the Vikings upon his return to full health. That would be a low turn thanks to Hawkinson’s presence, and given his injury history, it’s likely to be a short-term deal and to prove it at first.
Whether Smith is willing to accept this kind of offer is anyone’s guess. But until he proves he can put a consistent series of games together, he might have to suck it up for now and go from there.
Hockinson has a huge amount of potential within Kevin O’Connell’s coaching system. However, Smith’s athletic height could mean he’s getting another chance depending on attention from elsewhere.