NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets have traded tight end Chris Herndon to the Minnesota Vikings, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
Herndon was a fourth-round pick of the Jets in 2018 out of Miami. He had a promising rookie season, but never quite became the consistent playmaker New York was hoping for.
NFL Network first reported the trade Tuesday as teams whittled their rosters to the maximum 53-player limit. The person confirmed the deal to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither team had announced the trade.
Terms of the deal were not immediately known, but it is believed the Jets will receive draft compensation from the Vikings.
The 25-year-old Herndon has 71 career catches for 796 yards and seven touchdowns in three seasons. He was in a competition this summer with Tyler Kroft, Ryan Griffin, Trevon Wesco and Kenny Yeboah. It appeared Kroft, a free-agent signing in March, had moved ahead of him on the depth chart.
Herndon should step right into a starting role in Minnesota.
The Vikings found themselves in dire need of reinforcement at tight end, with a knee injury to their No. 1 option Irv Smith Jr. that will require surgery and keep him sidelined for at least a few games if not more, depending on how much repair is necessary for his meniscus.
Tyler Conklin has steadily improved as a blocker and a receiver. But after releasing 10-year veteran Kyle Rudolph during the offseason for salary cap savings, the Vikings were severely lacking experience at the position. Coach Mike Zimmer, asked Monday about the depth beyond Conklin said, “well, it’s not very good.”
The system under new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, who inherited the job and the scheme from his father Gary Kubiak, who retired earlier this year, makes frequent use of multiple tight ends to fuel a run-first attack that favors play-action passing. Zimmer said the Vikings would likely have to use more three-wide receiver formations while Smith is out.
AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell contributed.
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