On Wednesday, the Vikings announced terms with receiver Brandon Powell and former Rams linebacker Troy Reeder. Brandon Powell was entirely instrumental in the Los Angeles Super Bowl win. This new deal reconnected Kevin O’Connell, the Vikings Head coach, with Powell and Reeder, who encountered in the 2020 – 2021 season.
The contracts were pending the completion of their physical exams. This duo is linebacker Troy Reeder, return specialist, and wide receiver Brandon Powell. They were both part of the Los Angeles team when they won their Super Bowl under Kevin O’Connell’s time as the offensive coordinator.
The LA Rams roster in 2023 will be different from last year’s, seeing key players have left the team after the Super Bowl. In an effort to meet salary caps, the team will be forced to let go of players. Players like Nick Scott, Greg Gaines, A’Shawn Robinson, Taylor Rapp, and David Long Jr will be expected to play elsewhere next season.
Without Powell and Dixon, the Rams would need to replace some specialists during the off-season, all while having limited resources. Chase Blackburn, the new special team’s coordinator, has much work for him going into the new season, to avoid a collapse like the one the Vikings had last year.
In 2019, Reeder joined the Rams, straight out of Delaware undrafted and a free agent. During his time with the Rams, he totaled 230 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, five sacks, two interceptions, defended eight passes, eight hits as a quarterback, and two forced fumbles in two regular season games that he was in. He was in five of the six playoff games with the Rams, and in the Super Bowl, he was on defense and played in the special teams.
Reeder started his college career at Penn State between 2014 and 2015, subsequently transferring to Delaware from 2016 to 2018. Dan Reeder’s father was also a Pro Bowler initially drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders in the fifth round of the 1986 NFL Draft. Dan appeared in 13 games with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1986 and 1987 seasons.
Reeder is close with the Vikings right tackle Brian O’Neill, his former high school classmate. The two were in the jersey swap at the U.S Bank Stadium during the Rams-Vikings game of December 2021 after that, joining forces to host a football clinic in Delaware last summer. Last season Reeder played for the Chargers in all 17 games, contributing on special teams, recording forced fumbles and pass defenses.
The #Vikings have agreed to terms with LB Troy Reeder. Reeder started 25 games for the #Rams from 2019-21 and spent last season with the #Chargers
Fun fact: Troy Reeder and Brian O’Neill are good friends and were high school teammates at Salesianum HS in Wilmington, Delaware. pic.twitter.com/DNGA0qIytg
— Vikings Nation (@vikingsnationmn) March 22, 2023
Brandon Powell played for the rams in the 2021 and 2022 NFL seasons after his year in Detroit and two years in Atlanta. He began his career with the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2018. When undrafted in Florida, he tied for the lead in catches in about 20 catches and averaged 15 yards per punt return.
In the last four seasons, Powell has 47 catches for 354 yards and two touchdowns. He has been a significant player in return, achieving 29 career punt returns for 470 total yards and one return touchdown against the Vikings in 2021. He has an average of 21 yards on his 65 kickoff returns.
Powell has played for the Vikings four times. In the 2020 contest, he totaled 48 yards on two kickoff returns and 36 yards on three punt returns for the Falcons. This feat gave the Los Angeles 1 20 – 10 leads halfway through the third quarter. As a native of Florida Deerfield Beach, Powell started honing his skills in high school.
He began his career with the NFL as a running back in Florida. During his sophomore year, he switched to receiver. In his junior season, he recorded two touchdowns and 45 catches for 387 yards, and as a senior, he made the team’s high with a whopping 42 receptions in 406 yards and three touchdowns.
The #Vikings have reached a one-year deal with WR Brandon Powell. pic.twitter.com/WMLeEpIPQZ
— Vikings Nation (@vikingsnationmn) March 22, 2023
Adam Schefter, the ESPN reporter, claims that Powell’s deal is only for a year. Powell has proven himself a return specialist, handling the kickoff returner and punt returner roles quite well for the Rams last season. The 5-foot-8, 180-pound receiver had 24 catches for 156 yards while playing under O’Connell in Los Angeles.
While it may be pretty unlikely that Powell would be the next kickoff returner for the Vikings owing to Kene Nwangwu’s undeniable talent as the Vikings kickoff returner Powell will most likely much Jalen Reagor for reps at punt returner once the training camp starts again.
These new terms come days after the long-term Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen moved and signed with the Carolina Panthers after ten years with the Vikings. The Minnesota native has played for his home state and is ranked third among the Viking players in career receptions with 534 and 55 touchdowns in 6682 yards.
Obligatory new signing highlight and a bonus is it’s against the Vikings!
Welcome to the team Brandon Powellpic.twitter.com/zN9a4bYBth
— Matt Anderson (@MattAnderson_8) March 22, 2023
Credits on Featured Image: All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons