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Veteran Wide Receiver Comes Off the Market, Signs with Patriots

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost another chance to add a veteran wide receiver with K.J. Osborn now off the market.



Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Van Jefferson but still have a massive need at wide receiver. It seems likely that the team will look to make a move to land another receiver soon, but the options are beginning to dwindle. Another option is off the table, as the Patriots signed former Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn. That leaves two obvious options, Josh Reynolds and Tyler Boyd.

Osborn is not nearly as good of a blocker as those two others listed above, but what Osborn does bring to the table is tenacity in that part of the game while adding in smooth route running on top of it.

Osborn’s ability to stretch the field vertically, especially on play-action shots, would have made him an intriguing fit in Smith’s offense. In fact, a lot of his big plays came directly from condensed splits where he was able to get vertical and take the top of the defense. There’s some real nuance to his route running that has to be appreciated. And his fearlessness over the middle of the field and in traffic has to be commended. He is a solid No. 3 wide receiver, and given the likelihood the team dips into the draft pool, that probably works out just fine.

Osborn fits the mold that Smith looks for in his third receiver, who can stretch the field. For one, he comes from an offense with the Shanahan tree since he played under Kevin O’Connell’s guidance. The Vikings were up there as a team that did lots of condensed splits, and a guy like Osborn was able to fit into that so well because he was a strong-handed possession receiver who gave it his all every day. But now, whatever Omar Khan has up his sleeve is going to be critical to actively improving the team at the spot after trading Diontae Johnson.