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Vikings add receiver Tajae Sharpe, defensive lineman Anthony Zettel

Ben Goessling, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Football

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Vikings added wide receiver Tajae Sharpe to their roster on Wednesday, giving them another veteran receiver who can compete with Bisi Johnson for the No. 2 receiver spot and help add some depth behind Adam Thielen following last week's Stefon Diggs trade.

The former Titans receiver agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings. He caught 25 passes for 329 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in Tennessee last year, though his playing time dwindled and his targets slipped in a run-heavy offense in 2019.

The Vikings also signed defensive lineman Anthony Zettel, who will be entering his fifth NFL season.

Sharpe's busiest season was his rookie year in 2016, when he caught seven passes for 76 yards in his first NFL game against the Vikings and finished the season with 41 catches for 522 and two touchdowns after the Titans drafted him in the fifth round that year.

Sharpe has typically earned his opportunities on the strength of his route-running and his physical stature. The 6-foot-2 receiver doesn't figure to become a consistent deep threat -- he's been targeted on throws of 20 or more yards just 29 times in his career, according to Pro Football Focus -- but he showed he can work in the slot in 2018 and 2019 after missing all of 2017 with a foot injury.

His time with Packers coach Matt LaFleur (who was the Titans' offensive coordinator in 2018 and runs a similar scheme to what the Vikings use) should help him get acclimated to Gary Kubiak's scheme in Minnesota.

Adding Sharpe should create some competition in the Vikings' receiver group after the team traded Diggs to the Bills; he is the only receiver on the roster, other than Thielen, who has played more than a full season in the NFL.

 

Zettel, 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, was drafted in the sixth round (202nd overall) by Detroit out of Penn State in 2016. He has played for the Lions, Browns, Bengals and 49ers.

In 49 games (16 starts) and four playoff games, the 27-year-old has 7.5 sacks.

(c)2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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