In a move that almost seemed inevitable yet is still sad to have finally happened, the Vikings will be releasing tight end Kyle Rudolph after a ten-year partnership. The always classy Rudolph broke the news himself with a letter to Vikings fans, the organization, and the entire state of Minnesota thanking them for the decade of cheering for him and accepting him while promising that his time as a Minnesotan is not over. The letter was posted on the Players Tribune and entitled “Dear Minnesota”. The link is included in the tweet below for anyone wishing to read.
Thank you Minnesota!! Although my time as a Viking has come to a close, my time as a MINNESOTAN is just getting started! https://t.co/eb2aP3O4vo
— Kyle Rudolph (@KyleRudolph82) March 2, 2021
The Vikings drafted Rudolph in the second round of the 2011 Draft, and Rudolph has shown out for the Vikings virtually ever since. While the veteran may have had a disappointing 2020 campaign, he posted 453 catches, 4488 yards, 48 touchdowns, and countless memories in his ten years. Arguably his most memorable catch occurred during the 2019 playoffs to seal a road victory in New Orleans.
The 31-year-old Rudolph will undoubtedly find a landing spot on another team, but this move opens the door to youth in Minnesota represented by Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin. The duo is undoubtedly set to take on larger roles within the offense in 2021.