The Minnesota Vikings made the first blockbuster before the NFL trade deadline by sending Pro Bowl edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens. Now, with rumors swirling about a potential rebuild, star tight end Kyle Rudolph could be the next to be traded.
Just a year after Rudolph signed a four-year contract extension with Minnesota, the two-time Pro Bowl selection could be wearing another uniform after the NFL trade deadline passes on Nov. 3.
Vikings rumors: NFL teams interested in Kyle Rudolph
According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Vikings have made it known around the league that they are sellers heading into the trade deadline. In the midst of a disappointing season, Minnesota is getting plenty of calls about Kyle Rudolph.
Not only do the Vikings need more 2021 draft picks, but the organization is also in a desperate financial situation. With the NFL salary cap expected to plummet in 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota is projected to be more than $8 million above the cap. The Vikings could erase most of that by trading Rudolph this season, per Over The Cap.
NFL teams interested in Rudolph would certainly consider his contract when making a move to acquire him. He holds a $9.45 million cap hit in 2021, followed by $10.25 million in 2022 and $11.65 million in 2023. The 30-year-old tight end hasn’t made the Pro Bowl since 2017, but remains a talented player.
The 6-foot-6 tight end would be a compelling addition for numerous NFL teams. In the AFC East, both the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots are in desperate need of upgrades at that spot. Rudolph’s consistency and production would instantly make him a huge addition that would shake up the playoff race.
He could also attract interest from teams like the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals. Both clubs aren’t getting great production from their tight ends and would benefit from acquiring a Pro Bowl-caliber talent.
Rudolph isn’t the only player who could be dealt away from Minnesota. According to Sports illustrated, receiver Tajae Sharpe is an option for teams and offensive guard Pat Elflein may generate trade interest.
For a team that came into the season with playoff aspirations, 2020 has been a major disappointment for the Vikings. At this point, the team’s best outcome will be a top-five pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and a lot more draft capital to operate with.