Staying Sharpe: New Vikings receiver follows Diggs departure

Stefon Diggs, the Minnesota Vikings first turned to Tajae Sharpe. “data-reactid =” 32 “> MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – To fill an eye-catching hole in the wide receiver opened by Stefon Diggs’ departure, the Minnesota Vikings turned to Tajae Sharpe first.

When NFL teams can gather to practice, Sharpe should at least have an edge over coordinator Gary Kubiak’s offensive playbook.

“That’s always a good thing if you don’t have to start all over again from the point of view of learning the offense when you hear certain words and terms that you may be familiar with,” Sharpe said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

Green Bay Packers, was the offensive coordinator Sharpe played for with Tennessee in 2018. After four seasons with the Titans, Sharpe agreed on Wednesday for a $ 1 million one-year contract with the Vikings. “Data-reactid =” 35 “> Kubiak, as the head coach for Houston, gave Matt LaFleur his first NFL job as an offensive assistant to the Texans in 2008. LaFleur, now the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, was the offensive coordinator where Sharpe played with Tennessee in 2018. After four seasons with the Titans, Sharpe agreed on Wednesday to agree to a one-year, $ 1 million contract with the Vikings.

Among the wide receivers targeted 35 times or more in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus data, Sharpe was 10th in the NFL in passer rating when he was thrown. He was also one of the five wide receivers in the league with so many goals not to drop a pass.

“Because Diggs is traded, with a kind of void to fill in the position of the receiver, I felt like I had the chance to enter here and compete for a starting spot, and that’s all you you can ask, ” said Sharpe, a fifth round draft pick from Massachusetts in 2016, whose most productive season came into the league as a rookie with 41 receptions for 522 yards.

Buffalo Bills the Vikings got a lot of design capital, but removed their best deep threat from the lineup. Quarterback Kirk Cousins, who made an introductory phone call to Sharpe after closing his deal, needs someone to rely on the field later Adam Thielen and Olabisi Johnson. “data-reactid =” 38 “> Last year, Sharpe averaged 9.4 meters per target. Trading Diggs on the Buffalo Bills gave the Vikings a lot of draw capital, but pulled their best deep threat from the Quarterback lineup Kirk Cousins, who made an introductory phone call to Sharpe after his deal, will need someone to trust Adam Thielen and Olabisi Johnson off the field.

“He delivers the football to his receivers very well. He was probably the best deep ball pitcher in the league last year, so I’m excited about that, ” said Sharpe.

Meanwhile, with all the football activities on ice during the COVID-19 quarantine, Sharpe has maximized the use of his home gym, with bench presses, barbells and a treadmill on hand. He goes to the park down the street for pullups and push-ups and jogging, and he has set up backyard ladder and kegel exercises along with a Jugs machine to catch football without a quarterback around.

“I just find little ways to keep my game sharp and just stay sharp,” he said, “so when everything gets clear, I’m ready to go. ”

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