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NFL trade rumors: Vikings to move star TE Kyle Rudolph?

Matt Johnson

[brid video=”657154″ player=”23231″ title=”Minnesota%20Vikings%20Rumors%20%20Trade%20Talk%20&%20Free%20Agent%20Targets” duration=”75″ description=”Struggling to get going, fans of the Vikings know there are many ways their favorite team could improve. Although their cap space may be a bit tight this year, a new offseason always brings more opportunities to improve.As it stands, the Vikings have several needs. Depending on your viewpoint of Kirk Cousins, one could argue he is still a top-15 quarterback. So, unless the Vikings can find an obvious upgrade, looking to replace him simply isn’t feasible when the team has other needs. If the Vikings end up with a top draft pick and a quarterback they like is available, then you probably take the kid.What are some needs? They need to improve the interior of the offensive line. Taking a look at the current roster, the Vikings lack players who have the potential to drastically improve at both left and right guard.” uploaddate=”2020-10-09 17:02:53″ thumbnailurl=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/17660/thumb/657154_t_1602262989.png” contentUrl=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/17660/sd/657154.mp4″]

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.

Related: 2022 NFL Power Rankings – Outlook for all 32 teams entering summer

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.

WATCH: Kyle Rudolph makes absurd, one-handed catch

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.

Related: Five NFL teams who should buyers at NFL trade deadline

Kyle Rudolph Trade Rumors
Nov 10, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; A Carolina Panthers helmet sits on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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.