Patriots To Sign WR K.J. Osborn

6:41PM: We have a value on Osborn’s new contract, thanks to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. The former fifth-round pick out of Miami (FL) will have a base salary of $4MM in his new contract with the Patriots. Osborn will be able to earn an additional $2MM on the deal through incentives, per Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald. After his time in Minnesota, the former 2-star recruit who transferred from Buffalo has come a long way and continues to impress.

3:12PM: The Patriots have retained multiple in-house receivers this offseason, but the team is set to make an outside addition at the position. K.J. Osborn has a deal in place with New England, Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network report. This will be a one-year agreement, ESPN’s Mike Reiss adds.

Help at the receiver spot was an apparent priority for New England in free agency given the team’s struggles on offense in 2023. Heading into Sunday, however, the Patriots had elected to re-sign Kendrick Bourne on a three-year deal worth up to $33MM. The team also re-upped Jalen Reagor, who occupied a much smaller role on offense in his debut New England campaign. Prior to his free agent decision, Calvin Ridley was known to be on the Patriots’ radar.

New England made an offer to the former first-rounder, but he ultimately joined the Titans on a four-year, $92MM agreement. Losing out on Ridley (and seeing Marquise Brown head to the Chiefs) left the Patriots in need of a different target at the WR spot. Osborn was among the best options still on the market, having proven himself as a consistent complementary receiving option during his time with the Vikings.

The 26-year-old was limited to nine games as a rookie; he did not see a single target during that time. Since then, however, Osborn has seen incremental increases in his offensive snap share with each passing season while becoming a secondary target opposite Justin Jefferson. Osborn has made 50, 60 and 48 catches between 2021-23 while posting between 540 and 655 yards in that span. The former fifth-rounder has totaled 15 touchdowns in his career.

Osborn saw tight end T.J. Hockenson acquired via trade in 2022 (and subsequently extended) as well as the Vikings’ decision to select Jordan Addison in the first round of last year’s draft. That pair – along with Jefferson – will comprise the nucleus of Minnesota’s pass-catching corps for years to come, presuming the latter works out what will be a monster extension with the team. With that trio in place, Osborn will depart in search of a larger workload in New England.

The Patriots were led in receiving last season by sixth-round rookie Demario Douglas (561). Tight end Hunter Henry was also a key member of the team’s skill position corps, and he has landed a new deal as well. With fellow tight and Mike Gesicki departing in free agency and wideout DeVante Parker having been released (and signed by the Eagles), though, plenty of snaps and targets will be available for new pass-catchers in 2024.

Osborn has seen time both in the slot and on the perimeter, and he will provide a starting-caliber option for New England’s revised offense. The draft looms as another avenue to add weapons for the quarterback presumed to be added with the No. 3 pick, but even with a rookie addition Osborn will likely have a notable role on his new team.

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