5 underrated moves from the Vikings 2021 offseason

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Bashaud Breeland
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Bashaud Breeland /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Kyle Rudolph /

Releasing tight end Kyle Rudolph

Making sacrifices was something the Vikings had to do this offseason. Their financial predicament wasn’t great coming into the offseason and the league deciding to operate on a reduced salary cap in 2021 due to COVID-19 revenue losses only made their situation worse.

Thankfully, general manager Rick Spielman and his front office staff have been in this situation before. Not ideal, obviously, but this experience has served them well in freeing up enough spare resources to improve the roster.

One notable departure was Kyle Rudolph. The tight end enjoyed a phenomenal career with the Vikings with moments that will live long in the memory, but the simple fact is his contribution diminished significantly in 2020, and it was the right time to cut the veteran loose.

Especially considering how much money it saved Minnesota at the time.

Rudolph complained about his lack of usage at the end of the campaign. The Notre Dame product felt his skills should have been used in a better way by the coaching staff after the two-time Pro Bowler was targeted just 37 times throughout the season.

Cutting Rudolph ensured there wouldn’t be any further complications regarding an unhappy player in the camp. But the money that came back into the books after the June 1 deadline now allows the Vikings to pursue a couple of high-impact free agents should they choose.

Rudolph’s time with the Vikings will be remembered fondly. But the NFL and father time waits for no man and now is the right moment to see exactly what Tyler Conklin and Irv Smith Jr. can do in his absence.