Before the start of the 2023 NFL season, former Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph officially announced his retirement from the league after 12 years on the field. On Thursday, Rudolph made his departure from the playing field even more official when he retired as a member of the Vikings.
The veteran tight end spent the majority of his NFL career with Minnesota (10 seasons), so it was only fitting that he retired in purple and gold. On Thursday, Rudolph explained why it was important to him to retire as a member of the Vikings.
"You look at my career and [it's] what I was. Obviously, spent the majority of my career here. [Retiring with the Vikings] meant everything to me.
I had the opportunity to go play for two other great organizations. But just what this organization means to me, and I said it in my opening comments, that it's far more than just an organization and a team. It's a family.
The Wilfs were always very adamant, especially after my time here was over, that I was always a member of this family, and when it was time to call it a career and all was said and done, I wanted it to be in purple."
As a thank you for everything he was able to do for the franchise both on the field and off of the field, Minnesota will honor Rudolph this Sunday during their Week 3 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
It might not happen this weekend, but it seems likely that the former Pro Bowl tight end will end up as a member of the Vikings Ring of Honor one day, as he currently holds multiple career and single-season franchise records.
Unfortunately, Rudolph wasn't able to help lead Minnesota to their first-ever Super Bowl win during his tenure with the organization. But he was still able to be a part of a number of memorable moments that Vikings fans will remember for a long, long time.