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As Irv Smith Jr. is set to stand on the sidelines after knee surgeries, the Vikings have swung quickly to get a promising tight end from the Jets.
When Kyle Rudolph was gone, the breakout buzz for the Minnesota Vikings was tighter than Irv Smith Jr. tasty on the way to this season. But where Smith now faces at least one absence for several weeks after undergoing surgery on a meniscus, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network has reported that the Vikings will acquire tighter than Chris Herndon of the New York Jets for “draft pick compensation”.
With Smith out for at least a couple of games, with a worst-case scenario for the entire season still possibly in play, the Vikings were set to enter the normal season with Tyler Conklin as their No. 1 tight end and some obscure guys behind him. (Brandon Dillon, practice squad feeder Zach Davidson). For an offense that is still in line to still use two tight ends as heavy as any team in the league, the depth is not good enough.
The Vikings take a flyer on Chris Herndon
Fantasy football managers probably know Herndon. He was a breakout candidate in his time with the Jets to such an extent that it’s hard to believe this is only his fourth NFL season. The breakthrough never happened, but he has played all 16 games in two of three seasons with seven touchdowns on 71 career catches. This preseason, Tyler Kroft had robbed him of the Jets’ close end No. 1.
Herndon can benefit from a change of scenery (do not insert coached by Adam Gase narrative). He is only 25 years old, with size (6 feet-4, 253 pounds) and speed that seems to still be there if he can otherwise get it together. A late draft of some sort was an easy price to pay for Vikings GM Rick Spielman.
Smith’s injury situation brought immediate visions of the Vikings ‘trade with Eagles’ close end Zach Ertz into some corners. The price to get Herndon was definitely lower and the Jets were certainly more than willing to trade him than the Eagles appear to be to trade Ertz right now.