The Minnesota Vikings parted techniques with veteran restricted end Kyle Rudolph following the 2020 period. In section, this was due to production, but moreover, the workforce seemed to have a pair of younger limited ends waiting in the wings in Tyler Conklin and Irv Smith Jr.
On the other hand, that program has not accurately labored out as nicely as hoped. Smith skipped the total 2021 period with a torn meniscus, and even though Conklin stepped up in a large way as the starter, that permitted him to garner a worthwhile contract from the New York Jets this offseason. In his return, Smith has not turned into that star limited conclusion that quite a few had hoped for, both. The fourth-year TE has recorded 18 receptions for 140 yards and a pair of TDs this period.
Because of these developments in excess of the previous pair a long time, could that mean the Vikings have desire in a reunion with Kyle Rudolph?
Properly, the Vikings absolutely have tried using their hand at a variety of diverse selections with this placement. They’ve utilised 4 individual tight finishes this year, such as rookie seventh-round choose Nick Muse. Smith has begun to appear all around following a inadequate pair months to open up the time, but he has not been the star Vikings lovers experienced hoped for.
Moreover, Rudolph has gotten almost no operate with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense this period. The 32-year-outdated TE has performed in just two games for Tampa Bay, earning just two targets from Tom Brady. He caught one particular of them for 12 yards.
Ideally, the Bucs will ultimately just release their tight finish if they have no programs on utilizing him, but they’d continue to have to consume $1.5 million of his $2 million cap hit if they did that. Since of this, if the Vikings were being to purchase their very long-time restricted finish, it likely has to be a trade.
That said, supplied the Bucs modest role for Rudolph to this level in the year, it should not just take a grandfather supply to acquire the tight close. Additionally, as Dustin Baker reminded me on Wednesday’s episode of VikesNow, he could be a sparkplug in a crimson zone offense that has been inconsistent to commence the season.
Even if he doesn’t present a significant role for the Vikings, he’s presented countless recollections for the franchise, which include sealing a playoff victory in New Orleans throughout 2019. From 2011-2020, the two-time Pro Bowler accounted for 453 receptions, 4488 yards, and 48 touchdowns as a Minnesota Vikings. His 49 career landing receptions rank 145th in the NFL all-time.
If it is not this year, the Vikings should make positive that they are legendary limited stop retires in Minnesota when the time will come.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The Faculty of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Creating as very well as minors in Record, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not crafting about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon teaching, participating in movie game titles, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For far more of his takes, NFL and or else, look at out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Hen.