The Minnesota Vikings have released two-time NFL Pro Bowler TE Kyle Rudolph. The 31-year-old was picked in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Vikings and has spent 10 seasons with the franchise. Rudolph was a durable tight end for the team, having missed just eight games in the 10 seasons. As a Viking, he racked up 453 receptions for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns.
By cutting Rudolph, the Vikings will save close to $5 million in cap space. The team is currently $7 million over the cap limit.
What is next for the NFL Pro Bowler Kyle Rudolph?
Rudolph didn't have a great season in 2020. He played in 12 games and recorded just 334 yards and one touchdown. The lack of production from the offense was the primary reason for the Vikings' slow start last season.
Nonetheless, Rudolph has been a pivotal player in the offense, as he was named twice to the NFL Pro Bowl. In his second season in 2012, Rudolph caught 53 catches for 493 yards and, a career-high, nine touchdowns. He made it to the Pro Bowl as a concussion replacement for Tony Gonzalez and won the game's MVP for his five catches, 122 yards performance.
In 2017, Rudolph recorded 57 receptions for 532 yards and eight touchdowns. The Vikings finished the season 13-3 and went all the way to the NFC Championship Game where they were beaten 38-7 by the Philadelphia Eagles. Rudolph was named to his second Pro Bowl.
He was also responsible for sending the New Orleans Saints home in the 2019 NFC Wild Card playoff game. Rudolph caught a controversial touchdown pass in overtime from QB Kirk Cousins, where it seemed the tight end had pushed off safety P.J. Williams to create room to receive the pass.
Rudolph could certainly generate interest from teams looking for a reliable tight end. If teams are unable to get tight ends like Hunter Henry, Rob Gronkowski, or Tyler Eifert, Rudolph will certainly be on the radar for many NFL teams.
A few that could be interested in his services include the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, and the Arizona Cardinals. Wherever Rudolph lands, the two-time NFL Pro Bowler could make an immediate impact.