The #Vikings have solved their TE issue, as they are trading for promising #Jets TE Chris Herndon in exchange for draft pick compensation, sources say. Agent @malkikawa later confirmed the deal. Herndon steps right in following Irv Smith’s knee injury.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2021
Herndon, a fourth-round pick in 2018, is entering the final year of his rookie contract at a salary of $2.183 million. He showed promise in his rookie year, catching 39 passes for 502 yards and four touchdowns, but he lost his second season to injury and suspension, and he struggled to get things going in his third season.
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Herndon will have a role early in Minnesota: Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. will likely miss the entire 2021 NFL season with a knee injury, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday. Fourth-year tight end Tyler Conklin has also been battling injury — a hamstring pull that has kept him out of the preseason. Click here for PFF's tight end rankings.
Chris Herndon: PFF grade and rank since 2018, among TEs who played at least 200 snaps
|2020||675||57.6||65 of 80|
|2018||624||74.8||11 of 75|
*Didn't play enough snaps to qualify.
Stock up for Herndon in new home: Without Irv Smith Jr., Herndon will have a chance to carve himself out a role in the Vikings' pass attack. He should see his routes run increase substantially with the Vikings' heavy deployment of 12 personnel. In the team's last four games of 2020, Smith (fifth) and Tyler Conklin (12th) both ranked top-12 in routes run among TEs. Click here for PFF's Fantasy Projections.
Tyler Kroft confirmed TE1 for Jets: Herndon's departure all but solidifies Kroft's status as TE1 in New York. He caught two TDs from Zach Wilson in the preseason. Click here for PFF's Fantasy Rankings.
Vikings Win Total: Minnesota continues to showcase a win-now mentality by trading for a fill-in at the tight end position. However, the downgrade from Smith to Herndon is a net negative for the Vikings and another reason to pile onto the Vikings under 8.5 game win total at the +120 price. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.
Dalvin Cook Player Props: The Vikings want their offense to flow through Cook, but injuries to a number of skill position players could cause Minnesota to fall behind early in games, which would limit his rushing volume. PFF's fantasy projections see Cook hitting 285.5 rush attempts but falling over 100 yards short of his rushing yardage prop. If game script forces the Vikings into a pass-heavy approach, Cook should finish well short of his 1375.5 prop number. Hammer the under. Click here for PFF's Fantasy Projections.