Report: Vikings have explored trading TE Kyle Rudolph
Kyle Rudolph has been one of the better tight ends in football over the past few seasons, but the approach the Minnesota Vikings took during and around the draft may have indicated that his days with the franchise are numbered.
The Vikings nabbed one of the top tight ends available when they selected former Alabama star Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. They also drafted tight end Tyler Conklin in the fifth round a year ago. When you look at those picks coupled with a report from ESPN’s Courtney Cronin that Minnesota had discussions about trading Rudolph before and during the draft, it’s easy to get the impression that they may be looking to replace him.
Rudolph has spent his entire eight-year career with the Vikings and appeared in all 16 games in each of the past four seasons. He caught 64 passes on 82 targets for 634 yards and four touchdowns, so the production was decent in his first season playing with Kirk Cousins. However, the Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo last season and are looking to make some big changes, so perhaps moving on from Rudolph will be one of them.
At the very least, Rudolph will probably have to agree to a restructured contract to remain in Minnesota. The 29-year-old is set to count $7.625 million against the salary cap in 2019.