When the Minnesota Vikings selected Ihmir Smith-Marsette in the fifth-round of the 2021 NFL Draft, it seemed like he could eventually turn into a productive player on the offensive side of the ball. Between his size and speed, the former Iowa Hawkeye carried a skillset suitable to the NFL.
However, the journey has not been easy for the second-year receiver. Minnesota waived him in August, and while the Chicago Bears gave him a chance by claiming him, just six weeks into the 2022 season, he hit the market again after Chicago waived him. Now, the once-promising Vikings WR joins the Kansas City Chiefs on their practice squad.
During the 2021 season, Smith-Marsette didn’t see much playing time with the offense. That being said, he certainly flashed down the stretch of that regular season. Over the course of the year, he caught five of six targets for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In his sole start of the season, Week 18, he caught three passes and gained 103 yards as well as scored a touchdown.
This closing performance by the rookie led many fans to believe the Vikings were onto something special with the receiver. That seemed to continue into training camp as he was essentially listed as the WR4 on Minnesota’s unofficial depth chart, behind Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and KJ Osborn.
Because of this emergence, it came as a massive surprise to see the Vikings not only waive Smith-Marsette, but also trade for Jalen Reagor from the Philadelphia Eagles. Nevertheless, it seems like the Vikings once again have come out on the better end of this exchange.
The Bears claimed Smith-Marsette off waivers one day after the Vikings let him go; it was just one of many moves to bring former Vikings to the Windy City. However, he had a very limited impact in Chicago (at least in a positive sense of the word).
He earned just four targets over the course of six games, and he made his only reception against the Minnesota Vikings. However, that reception sealed a loss to his former team as Cameron Dantzler ripped the ball away, causing a game-ending fumble.
After netting a total of -1 yards against the Commanders in Week 6, Chicago parted ways with the receiver. He cleared waivers this time and signed onto the Chiefs practice squad on Friday. We’ll see if a Patrick Mahomes/Andy Reid combination can turn around his career moving forward.
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 opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.