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Tight end Kyle Rudolph has been a part of the Vikings offense for the past 10 seasons. On Tuesday, Minnesota marked the likely conclusion of that era: The team announced that it has released Rudolph.
The Vikings tight end could still re-sign with the team for a cheaper contract, but that seems unlikely, given Minnesota’s cap situation, the tight ends the team has waiting in the wings and what Rudolph has said publicly this offseason.
Rudolph has 4,488 receiving yards and 48 touchdown receptions in the regular season of his NFL career so far. The Vikings are the only team he has played for. Arguably his most notable play came against the Saints in the 2019 postseason, when he secured the game-winning score in overtime.
Expect Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin to be the main options at tight end for the Vikings in 2021. The team can also add bargain free agency signings and rookies at that position for depth.