The Vikings have signed Chad Beebe to a one-year deal for the veteran minimum salary of $920,000, according to multiple reports.
Beebe was a restricted free agent this offseason until the Vikings declined to tender him, which would've cost at least $2.1 million. But they had interest all along in bringing him back, and shortly after the start of the new league year on Wednesday afternoon, the move was reported.
This will be the fourth season with the Vikings for the 2018 undrafted free agent out of Northern Illinois. Beebe finally stayed healthy last year and recorded 20 catches, 201 receiving yards, and two touchdowns — including a game-winner against the Panthers shortly after he had muffed a key punt — in a rotational role. He played just under 30 percent of the team's offensive snaps.
Prior to last season, Beebe had dealt with injury issues that held him to six games and six catches in his first two years. But he consistently impressed the coaching staff in training camp and practice enough to keep sticking around, and now he'll be around for at least one more season.
The 5'10" Beebe is a solid depth piece who can get open from the slot. He's had some issues with drops in the past, but his hands are mostly reliable. For a veteran minimum salary, this is a solid move by the Vikings to bring him back.
However, this shouldn't mean the Vikings are done adding to the wide receiver corps. If Beebe and Bisi Johnson are still the top depth options behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen when the season starts, that would be disappointing. Adding a dangerous No. 3, whether in free agency or the draft, should be on the list of priorities for Minnesota. That means doing more than they did last offseason, when they signed Tajae Sharpe in free agency and drafted K.J. Osborn in the fifth round. Neither player had a single catch in 2020.
Beebe could also be an option to return punts again, although that would be disappointing as well. He demonstrated very little upside in that role last season.
Of the Vikings' four RFAs as of a couple weeks ago, it appears that only Beebe will be back. None of the four were tendered, and Ifeadi Odenigbo, Mike Boone, and Chris Jones are all expected to head elsewhere for the 2021 season.
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