The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday that they have released two-time Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph.
The veteran tight end spent all 10 of his NFL seasons with the Vikings, recording 453 receptions, 4,448 yards and 48 touchdowns for his career. In 2020, he played and started in 12 games, amassing 334 yards and a touchdown.
Rudolph, who was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft, wrote in The Players' Tribune that he would never forget his draft day experience.
"I was the top-rated tight end, and (as a cocky 21-year-old) was feeling pretty good about where I stood. Had a little viewing party and everything — figured I’d go in Round 1, which was a dream of mine.
"Nope. All of the teams that I’d met with, all of the teams that had an obvious need at tight end….. they passed on me. And before I knew it, the first round had ended without my name being called. But then the next day, during Round 2, a strange thing happened: The Vikings, who already had three veteran TEs on their roster, and didn’t seem to have a need for me at all — they picked me at #43. I’ll be honest: It seemed a little random at the time."
Rudolph said he was "proud of the decade" he spent in Minnesota.
The tight end's best seasons came in 2012 and 2017—his Pro Bowl years—when he caught 53 passes for 493 yards and nine TDs, and 57 receptions for 532 yards and eight TDs, respectively. His nine touchdowns in 2012 marked the second-most by a Vikings tight end in a season in team history.
Check out the latest news and notes from around the NFL:
- Dolphins inform linebacker Kyle Van Noy that he will be released. (Mike Garafolo, NFL Network)
- Texans' David Johnson agrees to terms on restructured one-year deal to stay with Houston. (Ian Rapoport, NFL Network)
- Saints are exploring trade possibilities involving defensive tackle Malcom Brown. (Ian Rapoport, NFL Network)