Kirk Cousins claims KJ Osborn can finally step out of Justin Jefferson’s “shadow” at Patriots

The Minnesota Vikings drafted KJ Osborn in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, starting his NFL career. During his time with the Vikings, Osborn enjoyed a stellar career as the third-choice receiver, with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen occupying the top spots in the receiving corps.

Now, with a fresh start with the New England Patriots, his former quarterback Kirk Cousins believes the former Vikings receiver has the opportunity to showcase his talent with a more prominent role in the offense.

Kirk Cousins sheds light on KJ Osborn’s true quality 

In a recent appearance on The Big Podcast with Shaq, former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins shared his optimism about KJ Osborn’s potential breakout season with the Patriots. 

The quarterback emphasized his former receiver’s ability to shine in a more prominent role, especially after playing in the shadows of Jefferson and Adam Thielen during their time together in Minnesota.

“Pretty much all of them, but K.J. Osborn is a receiver who was with us in Minnesota who was kind of in the shadow of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. He went to free agency and went to New England, and I’d love to see him have a huge year in New England kind of with a bigger role than what he had in Minnesota to show what he could do.”

The sentiment comes after Osborn’s departure from the Minnesota Vikings, where he was a frequent target for Cousins over the last three seasons before Cousins’ last season ended abruptly. Now, with the quarterback making the move to the Atlanta Falcons, their on-field partnership has come to an end. Meanwhile, Osborn has landed a one-year, $4 M deal with the Patriots, per Yahoo Sports.

Looking at KJ Osborn’s performances during Vikings stint 

KJ Osborn’s breakout season in 2021 showcased his ability to make big plays when it mattered most. From his stellar performance in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals to his game-winning touchdown catch in overtime against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6, he consistently proved his value to the team.

The young star carved out his role within the offense by finishing the regular season with 655 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, ranking third on the team in both categories.

The momentum continued into 2022, where Osborn continued to shine in critical moments. He showcased his versatility with 157 receiving yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions in Week 15 against the Indianapolis Colts. His performance in Week 18 against the Chicago Bears saw him tallying his second 100+-yard game of the season. Osborn closed his journey with the Vikings with 158 passes for 1,845 yards and 15 touchdowns throughout the last three years.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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