Vikings add much needed tight end depth with Chris Herndon trade

New York Jets v New England Patriots

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The Irv Smith Jr. injury came out as a bit of a surprise for the Vikings, with many analysts labeling the 2021 season as his potential breakout year. The loss will certainly be felt, but the Vikings added some much-needed depth at the position under an hour before 53-man rosters are due. 

The Vikings agreed on a trade with the Jets for TE Chris Herndon in exchange for draft pick compensation, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

Herndon has had an up and down career over his first three seasons in the NFL, but the upside is certainly there. After getting off to a hot start in his rookie season, Herndon missed 2019 while battling injuries. The 2020 season wasn’t anything spectacular, but the Jets haven’t had solid weapons around him either. 

In two full seasons of play Herndon has totaled 71 catches for 796 yards and seven touchdowns. 

Although he won’t likely replace the productivity many were expecting to see out of Smith Jr., Herndon brings veteran depth to a position that was lacking it. Pairing him with Tyler Conklin gives the Vikings a way to run the offense in 12 personnel while having two solid options out there at tight end. 

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