Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press
With the NFL trade deadline fast approaching, the 1-5 Minnesota Vikings are “open for business” on players in contract seasons, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer. But the team has also reportedly garnered interest on one player who is amid a deal in Minnesota: tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Rudolph signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Vikings in before the 2019-20 season.
The Vikings have already been active ahead of the Nov. 3 deadline, dealing defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens just months after they acquired him from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick in August. In sending him to the Ravens, they received a 2021 third-round pick and another conditional fifth-round selection in 2022.
Rudolph, who has been with Minnesota since the team drafted him in the second round out of Notre Dame in 2011, had a quieter year in 2019, collecting 367 yards on 39 receptions. Through six starts this season, he has been on the field for just 70 percent of snaps.
According to Breer, any dealings in Minnesota have implications beyond improving their rough start to the season, with cap commitments that are over $180 million through the next two seasons. Breer notes that this means the team will “have to be tactful even with the guys they plan to keep” moving forward.
Whether or not Rudolph ends up changing teams for the first time in his 10-year career, it’s clear that the Vikings are thinking ahead with any moves they make in the next few weeks.