Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, receiver and return specialist Brandon Powell intends to sign with the Minnesota Vikings as an unrestricted free agent after spending last year with the Los Angeles Rams. Following Matt Gay and Riley Dixon, this essentially means that the entire special teams unit for the Rams is being overhauled, including getting a new coordinator next season.
Former Rams’ free-agent WR Brandon Powell reached agreement today a one-year deal with the Vikings, per source. Powell will be reuniting with former Rams’ OC and Vikings’ HC Kevin O’Connell.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 22, 2023
Powell has been the primary kick and punt returner for the last couple of seasons for the Los Angeles Rams, and he even carved out a role as a receiver and gadget player in 2023. Last season he caught 24 passes for 156 yards and rushed 17 times for 80 yards. Perhaps the biggest play of his LA career was a 61-yard punt return during the 2021 championship season—fittingly against Minnesota.
The signing will reunite Powell with his former offensive coordinator with the Rams—Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. It will be interesting if Minnesota plans to involve Powell in their offense or if he will primarily be a special teams contributor, as Powell did not play much on offense until after O’Connell left for the Vikings.
The Rams have yet to sign an outside free agent, but they’ve suffered a number of losses with players choosing to sign elsewhere. LA will start completely over on special teams with kicker Matt Gay joining the Indianapolis Colts, punter Riley Dixon signing with the Denver Broncos, and long snapper Matt Orzech heading to the Green Bay Packers. The Rams don’t have an obvious replacement for Powell as Tutu Atwell is probably too undersized to handle return duties on a full-time basis.
BRANDON POWELL DOING IT HIMSELF!— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 26, 2021
Rams score on the punt return TD!
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/whkSVXqdY3