The Vikings added wide receiver Tajae Sharpe to their roster Wednesday, giving them another veteran who can compete with Bisi Johnson for the No. 2 receiver spot and help add some depth behind Adam Thielen following last week’s trade of Stefon Diggs.
The former Titans receiver agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings. He caught 25 passes for 329 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in Tennessee last year, though his playing time dwindled and his targets slipped in the Titans’ run-heavy offense in 2019.
The Vikings also signed defensive lineman Anthony Zettel, who will be entering his fifth NFL season.
Sharpe’s deal is worth $1 million, with $500,000 of his $825,000 base salary guaranteed and a $175,000 signing bonus. He can earn up to another $500,000 in incentives, based on how much playing time he gets.
His most productive season was his rookie year in 2016, when he caught 41 catches for 522 yards, including seven catches for 76 yards in his first NFL game against the Vikings, and two touchdowns after the Titans drafted him in the fifth round that year.
Sharpe has typically earned his opportunities on the strength of his route-running and his physical stature. The 6-2 receiver doesn’t figure to become a consistent deep threat — he’s been targeted on throws of 20 or more yards just 29 times in his career, according to Pro Football Focus — but he showed he can work in the slot in 2018 and 2019 after missing all of 2017 because of a foot injury.
His time with Packers coach Matt LaFleur (who was the Titans’ offensive coordinator in 2018 and runs a similar scheme to what the Vikings use) should help him get acclimated to Gary Kubiak’s scheme in Minnesota.
Adding Sharpe should create some competition after the team traded Diggs to the Bills; he is the only receiver on the roster, other than Thielen, who has played more than a full season in the NFL.
Zettel, 6-4 and 275 pounds, was drafted in the sixth round (202nd overall) by Detroit out of Penn State in 2016. He has played for the Lions, Browns, Bengals and 49ers.
In 49 games (16 starts) and four playoff games, the 27-year-old has 7.5 sacks. He played in San Francisco’s three postseason games, including the Super Bowl, last season.
The Vikings lost key defensive linemen Linval Joseph (to the Chargers), Stephen Weatherly (to the Panthers) and Everson Griffen (unsigned) in free agency.
They signed former Giants defensive tackle Michael Pierce to a three-year, $27 million deal on March 18.