4 things to expect from the Vikings tight ends in 2020

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. – Minnesota Vikings /

2. Irv Smith Jr. will supplant Kyle Rudolph for TE1. The question is when?

Here’s some breaking news. The Minnesota Vikings did not draft Irv Smith. Jr with a second-round pick to be an eternal TE2. Therefore, sooner or later depending on your interpretation of time, Irv Smith Jr. will be the undisputed tight end for the Minnesota Vikings franchise.

Our job is to watch the games and determine when. Rudolph earns about $10 million in average annual salary, so he is compensated appropriately as the team’s go-to tight end. But that will not last forever. The more that Smith Jr. evolves into a dependable playmaker, Rudolph’s prominence will dwindle. The Rudolph-Smith Jr. tandem twosome may last for five years; it may last for seven more months. We don’t know. Hell, even general manager Rick Spielman could be undecided.

Yet, as for the 2020 season, Vikings faithful will see breadcrumbs as to how this shared-power dynamic at the tight end will look in its second go-round. The outcome will heavily influence the front office’s decision-making as it pertains to Rudolph’s future.