When the Minnesota Vikings waived WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, many fans found the move confusing. Making the move even more frustrating was when the promising Vikings WR turned free agent was claimed by the rival Chicago Bears. It was one of the many former Vikings that would go on to don a Bears uniform heading into the season.
Largely, this confusion seemed like it was for good reason. During the 2022 preseason, the 2021 fifth-round pick was one of the brightest performers for the Vikings. Over the course of the three games, Smith-Marsette recorded 10 catches for 121 yards, including a pair of catches that went for 20+ yards.
These strong games seemed to prove that his Week 18 game to close the 2021 season wasn’t a fluke. He caught three passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. It was his second time in three games played where he scored a tocuhdown and appeared to be the coming out party for the promising receiver.
However, after just six weeks of the 2022 regular season, Smith-Marsette is set to hit free agency once again as the Bears released him Tuesday morning, per ESPN‘s Courtney Cronin. In his stead, Chicago promoted Isaiah Coulter from the practice squad.
Vikings fans will fondly remember that Smith-Marsette was a huge reason why Minnesota ultimately beat the Bears in Week 5. As Chicago was making a last-ditch effort to tie or win the game, Justin Fields connected with the second-year receiver for a big gain. As Smith-Marsette fought for extra yards, though, Cam Dantzler was able to rip the ball away, causing a fumble and turnover that sealed Minnesota’s 29-22 victory.
Smith-Marsette’s tenure with Chicago concluded rather unceremoniously. In fact, that 15-yard catch and fumble against the Vikings was his only reception of the season. He appeared in four games for Chicago and earned just four total targets.
Now, the former Iowa receiver is once again waiting for a new team to take a chance on him. Meanwhile, the Vikings have found ways to utilize multiple receivers just as effectively as Smith Marsette. Among such receivers is trade acquisition Jalen Reagor who has scored a touchdown for Minnesota this month.
Ultimately, this is just the latest example that we as fans should probably leave the roster building to the experts in the front office.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.