Veteran TE With Unique Background Coming to Vikings’ Rookie Minicamp

Veteran TE With Unique Background Coming to Vikings’ Rookie Minicamp

Sammis Reyes’ pursuit of an NFL comeback has him headed to Minnesota for Vikings rookie minicamp next weekend, per multiple reports. If he impresses there, the veteran tight end could potentially earn a spot on the 90-man offseason roster.

Reyes has a unique backstory. The 28-year-old was born in Chile and was a basketball prodigy growing up, playing on the Chilean youth national team. When he was 14, he was discovered by an American scout and ended up moving to Florida for high school despite not knowing any English. Reyes wound up playing college basketball at four different schools: Hawaii, Palm Beach State, Tulane, and Loyola New Orleans.

After playing on the Chilean national team that failed to qualify for the FIBA World Cup in 2019, Reyes was working as a trainer and a DoorDash driver when he decided to give football a try. He had never played before, but his size and athleticism helped him get accepted into the NFL’s International Pathway Program in 2021. He trained in Florida, worked out at the University of Florida’s pro day, and wound up signing a deal with the Washington Football Team. When Reyes made his regular season debut later that year, he became the first Chilean player to ever appear in an NFL game.

Reyes appeared in 11 games for the WFT that year, playing 39 offensive snaps and 145 snaps on special teams. In his limited role on offense, he was almost entirely used as a run blocker. Reyes was released in 2022 and signed with the Bears’ practice squad. Last year, he signed with the Jaguars, but suffered a concussion and decided to retire in August. Now he’s chosen to un-retire and pursue an NFL comeback.

Reyes is 6’5″, 260 pounds, and an absurd athlete. Back in 2021, he posted remarkable numbers in the 40-yard-dash, bench press, and jumps. He’s also built a big social media following, with nearly 600K followers on Instagram.

Kent Lee Platte

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Sammis Reyes (19)

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Sammis Reyes (19) / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

The Vikings’ tight end room features T.J. Hockenson, Josh Oliver, Johnny Mundt, Nick Muse, and undrafted rookie Trey Knox. Reyes profiles as a poor man’s Oliver — a big, athletic blocking specialist. It’ll be very interesting to see if he winds up signing a contract with the Vikings (or another team) after rookie minicamp.

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