Why the Minnesota Vikings should consider trading Kyle Rudolph

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph /
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DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 23: Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings makes a touch down catch in the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 23, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph /

His 2018 season may have been worse than most think

Two years ago, Rudolph posted a career season with 83 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. The following season, Rudolph made the Pro Bowl and flirted with a career-high in touchdowns with eight (most since he had nine in 2012), but his receptions (57) and yards (532) took a steep decline raising questions about how he would fare in 2018.

With Kirk Cousins claiming that throwing to Rudolph was like “throwing into a mattress,” Rudolph actually had a better season statistically in 2018 and posted the highest catch percentage (78 percent of his targets) of his career. If you mix in his overall line (64 receptions, 634 yards, four touchdowns) and it looks like Rudolph had a solid year, but some other numbers tell a different story.

Rudolph made the most of his opportunities, but only had five or more catches in six games in 2018. His stats look even worse when you considered that a good chunk of his stats came in a Week 16 victory over Detroit that saw Rudolph catch nine passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns (including a 44-yard Hail Mary before halftime).

Although some of this may be the ineptitude of offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, it’s enough to wonder what Rudolph’s actual impact on the offense is at the moment.