[Note: This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period. This is the fourth article, focusing on the tight ends. In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterback preview here, running backs are here, and the fullbacks are here.]
In theory, the Vikings have their tight end depth chart pretty much set. They have the powerful veteran in Kyle Rudolph, the semi-proven backup in Chase Ford, and the journeyman blocker in Rhett Ellison. They also have some camp fodder in Ryan Otten.
Rudolph just signed a huge deal that runs through 2018 and is highly unlikely to go anywhere. Ford is entering a contract year, but is inexpensive and likely to be a restricted free agent in 2016, so there is no real reason to actively oust him from the Vikings roster.
Ellison is also fairly cheap, with a 2015 cap hit of $735,146, and appears like a guy the Vikings want to lock up for the long-term. While unspectacular within the offense, Ellison is a great blocking tight end and solid special teams player.
The Vikings seem highly unlikely to spend heavily on the tight end position this offseason, with actual value more likely to be found in the Draft for a talent worth bringing aboard, but let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.