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Sharpe Catches on With Another Run-Heavy Offense

Free agent wide receiver signs a one-year deal with Minnesota

No doubt Tajaé Sharpe is happy to have a job after more than a week as a free agent.

The fifth-year wide receiver will not join a pass-happy offense, though.

The Minnesota Vikings announced Wednesday that they have signed Sharpe, a fifth-round pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2016. The deal reportedly is for one year and provides Sharpe an opportunity to find a role with a team that traded away one of its primary wide receivers, Stefon Diggs, last week.

"I'm super excited. I'm ready to got going," he said in a video message posted to Twitter. "And I' extremely humbled by the opportunity (the Vikings) have given me.Only two NFL teams attempted fewer passes in 2019 than the Vikings (466). One was the Titans (448). Both made the playoffs as the wild cards in their respective conferences.

Sharpe, however, made good use of the opportunities he got in his final season with Tennessee.

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He played fewer than half the snaps on offense for the first time in his career but finished second on the team with four touchdown receptions. He was one of two Titans wide receivers (Adam Humphries was the other) with a catch percentage that exceeded 70 percent (a career-high 71.4 percent). Also, 20 of his 25 receptions (80 percent) resulted in first downs.

Sharpe was a revelation as a rookie, when he had 41 receptions for 522 yards, both of which were second among Tennessee’s wide receivers.

The Titans opened that season against Minnesota, and he caught seven passes for 76 yards in his NFL debut. That performance still ranks as his career-high in terms of receptions in a game (he had seven one other time). Only once did he have more receiving yards (101 against the Chargers in 2018).

He was seventh among all rookie wide receivers in receptions and receiving yards in 2016.

Sharpe, 25, missed all of 2017 with an injury. His performance waned in the two year since as franchise officials consistently added wide receivers, including Corey Davis (first round, 2017), A.J. Brown (second round, 2019) and Adam Humphries (free agent, 2019). Sharpe was considered a backup to all three last season.

His departure does not create a big hole for the Titans. Davis, Brown and Humphries are all under contract at least through 2020. Same for receiver/returners Cameron Batson, who was re-signed earlier this offseason, and Kalif Raymond as well as Rashard Davis and Cody Hollister, two players who were on the active roster briefly in 2019.