The Minnesota Vikings may be shopping tight end Kyle Rudolph after drafting Irv Smith as his potential replacement, so these five teams should call up to inquire about the red zone reindeer’s services.
Good tight ends are hard to find in the NFL, and the Minnesota Vikings have had one for a while in veteran Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph, always a dependable blocker, caught 64 passes for 634 yards and four touchdowns in 2018 and is a reasonable bet to duplicate those numbers in 2019.
The problem for the Vikings is that Rudolph is set to earn $7.5 million, a steep figure for a team that is tight against the salary cap. Minnesota also drafted tight end Irv Smith this year, leading to speculation about Rudolph’s future in Minnesota.
Then there is this, courtesy of NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
If Rudolph does end up on the trade block, here are five teams that should be calling up the Vikings to try and facilitate a deal.
5. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are looking to develop Kyler Murray, and a rookie quarterback’s best friend is his tight end. Arizona signed Charles Clay over the winter and has the intriguing Ricky Seals-Jones on the roster, but Rudolph represents a tangible upgrade over both.
Rudolph’s blocking ability could also be a help to an Arizona team that will look to establish the run to help out Murray. David Johnson struggled behind a mediocre offensive line a year ago, and Rudolph’s presence should help open more running lanes.
The Cardinals would also be able to utilize Rudolph in the red zone, where his big frame can give Murray a dependable target inside the 20.