The Minnesota Vikings have released long-time veteran tight end, Kyle Rudolph. He has been a member of the Vikings since 2011 and has caught over four hundred passes, gotten over four thousand yards, and forty-eight touchdowns for the Vikings. He was their tight end for ten years.
What changed? Rudolph received a contract extension from Minnesota in 2019 for a four-year/$36 million deal. However, in the 2019 NFL Draft, Minnesota selected Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. In his first two seasons, he has become Minnesota’s go-to pass-catching tight end option.
Because of this, the Vikings shifted Rudolph’s role to primarily blocking. Unlucky for them, $9 million is a ton of money to pay a tight end just for blocking. Rudolph only caught one touchdown this past season.
For the Vikings, it’s tough to let him go. He was once a crucial part of their team. Now, Minnesota needs to find a cheaper blocking tight end as his replacement in free agency or the draft and use the remaining money to help upgrade the roster.
Even though the Vikings shifted Rudolph to a blocking tight end, Rudolph believes he can benefit other teams who can utilize his full potential.
Kyle Rudolph has thanked the Minnesota Vikings’ fan base for everything and is ready for the next step in his career.