Josh Oliver‘s run-blocking ability will secure him a nice payday. The Vikings plan to sign the former Ravens tight end, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.
Oliver agreed to a three-year, $21MM Minnesota deal, one that Garafolo notes comes with $10.75MM guaranteed. Incentives could bump the contract up to $24MM. This represents a big commitment to the tight end position for the Vikings, who traded for T.J. Hockenson at the deadline last year.
Pro Football Focus graded Oliver as the NFL’s second-best run-blocking tight end in 2022, behind only fellow Raven Isaiah Likely. Oliver will now have a chance to supplement Hockenson and bolster the Vikings’ ground game. While the Vikings won’t be overly reliant on their acquisition in the passing game, it’s worth noting that Oliver finished the 2022 season with a career-high 14 receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns. The 25-year-old tight end was a third-round pick by the Jaguars in 2019. He spent two seasons in Jacksonville before getting traded to Baltimore in 2021.
While Oliver started nine of his 17 appearances for Baltimore last season, the Ravens won’t miss him too much considering their depth at the position. Likely can easily fill in for Oliver’s blocking role, and the 2022 fourth-round pick also had more offensive upside as a pass-catching backup to Pro Bowler Mark Andrews.