The Minnesota Vikings released 10-year veteran tight end, Kyle Rudolph yesterday, in the first of many cap-saving maneuvers we will see them make early this offseason. This is a move that was foreseen by everybody, including Kyle himself, for months.
Rudolph was the most tenured Viking before his dismissal and took to the popular “Players’ Tribune” for an extended goodbye to his former team and fanbase.
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
Thank you, thank you
Kyle Rudolph thanked the Minnesota Vikings owners and coaches, before telling the fanbase that he won’t be gone long. It’s clear that Kyle and his family have grown roots in Minnesota that they plan on quickly returning to, when his playing career is over.
The former Notre Dame TE also thanked and named a few handfuls of former teammates, starting with his friend Chad Greenway and his career teammate, Harrison Smith.
But when he started listing former QB’s… my interest was peaked.
Guys like Hutch, Jared Allen, Adrian Peterson — the core of one of the great teams in franchise history. Guys like Matt Cassel, straight-up one of the best human beings I’ve ever been around. Ev Griffen, a nine-year teammate and an all-time friend. Guys like Eric Kendricks, an amazing competitor, who lined up against me every day in practice and helped mold me into the player I am.
Guys like Sam Bradford, who never got the credit he deserved, but battled through injury for two years to try to get us over the hump. (I sincerely believe that we win a Super Bowl in 2017 if Sam is healthy. Such an incredibly talented dude, an unreal passer when his body was right.) Guys like Teddy Bridgewater, another crazy-talented quarterback who had some terrible injury luck, but inspired all of us with his determination, and definitely left his mark on this team. Man, just so many guys — I could go on and on.Kyle Rudolph – Players’ Tribune
Something of nothing?
Go ahead and poo-poo this as much as you want, but Kyle Rudolph is a smart guy. The words he put into this article were carefully and meticulously placed. He absolutely thought about Kirk Cousins, when writing about these other guys and he absolutely knows Kirk has thrown him more touchdowns than any QB in his career.
The numbers listed above don’t even include Kirk’s game-winning touchdown to Rudolph vs the Saints in overtime, which advanced them to the divisional round in the 2019 playoffs.
.@Vikings FANS, YOU JUST WALKED OFF AGAINST THE SAINTS IN THE PLAYOFFS AGAIN THANKS TO KYLE RUDOLPH, AND IT'S STILL EVEN BETTER WITH TITANIC MUSIC #SKOL #NFLPlayoffs #NFL100 pic.twitter.com/d2jLB4RJOL— Jack (@JWillsNH) January 5, 2020
Sam Bradford played with Rudolph for less time and threw him less balls. Bradford also faced a small percentage of the criticism that Cousins has dealt with during his three seasons, and Kirk actually stays on the field. Yet, Rudolph mentioned the off-field noise Bradford had to deal with… and didn’t mention Cousins at all.
I’m not suggesting that Rudolph hates Kirk Cousins. But when Kirk came to town, Kyle was supposed to be one of the largest beneficiaries, given Cousins’ great history with TE1’s of his past. Instead, #82 saw his targets and routes diminish during Kirk’s tenure, while the Vikings turned him into a blocking tight end.
No Ponder either
It should also be noted that Rudolph never mentioned his first Minnesota Vikings QB, Christian Ponder. Say what you want about Ponder, but he QB’d Rudolph’s first Pro Bowl season in 2012 and in that same year, Christian threw him the most single-season touchdowns of any QB of his career (9).
From our "We're Telling you for the Last Time" Series-the last time the #vikings scored a TD vs every NFL team. Today, it's the last TD scored vs the 49ers (#30) Sept 23, 2012. Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph catches 6; Ponder a 95 QB rating. @cponder7 @KyleRudolph82 pic.twitter.com/YpPltqkT0m— VikeFans (@VikeFans) July 15, 2018
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan