A second-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2011, Rudolph was a stalwart performer for the Vikings for the last decade. He reached a pair of Pro Bowls while totaling 453 receptions for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns.
Given all that Rudolph has meant to the community and franchise in Minnesota, this is a bittersweet day. It was probably the correct football move for the Vikings, but at the same time, things like this are never easy.
Vikings fans can take solace in the fact that Rudolph said he will continue to raise his family in Minnesota.
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
Meanwhile, around the NFL, the reaction to the news featured some wanting to reflect on Rudolph’s tenure in purple and others thinking about how he might fit on other teams around the league.
End of an era… but chose to become a part of the community there and planted roots. https://t.co/kly90YRUTU
— trey wingo (@wingoz) March 2, 2021
The #Vikings are releasing TE Kyle Rudolph, ending his 10 year run with Minnesota, per NFL Network. One of the great leaders on and off the field in Vikings franchise history.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 2, 2021
% of catchable passes dropped since 2017:
🔹 Kyle Rudolph – 1.0
🔹 Larry Fitzgerald – 2.1
🔹 Allen Robinson – 2.2
🔹 Antonio Brown – 2.2pic.twitter.com/7Nt7qa5ATv
— PFF (@PFF) March 2, 2021
Kyle Rudolph's release saves the #Vikings a little over $5 million in cap space and $8M in cash in 2021. After a decade in Minnesota, Rudolph is a free agent for the first time at age 31.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 2, 2021
We love you and thank you Kyle Rudolph. pic.twitter.com/jrZz7lTfNe
— Vikings Central (@VikesCentral) March 2, 2021
I could see Kyle Rudolph potentially having some fantasy value depending on where he ends up. He can still be a red zone threat. He just needs an offense that makes it to the red zone often enough to unlock that touchdown potential.
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) March 2, 2021
What does Rudolph have left in the tank? Young QB Zach Wilson could use one, given how much that SF offense used TEs … https://t.co/P8zVcGkoZp
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) March 2, 2021
For the Patriots, who have a notable need at tight end, Kyle Rudolph is now added to the list of possibilities. Coming off a 28-334-1 season as a pass-catcher. A favorite of former Patriots OC Charlie Weis. https://t.co/sDEnYloZtB
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 2, 2021
Given the fact he was released, Rudolph can get a little bit of a head start on his free agency.
We have no doubt he’ll attract some attention from outside suitors.