March 2 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Vikings released former Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph after 10 seasons, the team announced Tuesday.
The roster move saves the Vikings about $5.1 million against the salary cap for the upcoming season.
Rudolph, who had three years left on the contract he signed in June 2019, will now become a free agent for the first time in his NFL career.
The 31-year-old Rudolph reflected on his 10 seasons with the Vikings in an article published by The Players' Tribune on Tuesday.
"I got so lucky, because -- I didn't just get drafted by some team who 'had a need at tight end,'" Rudolph wrote. "I didn't just get drafted as, like, the nameless, faceless '#1 tight end on the board.' I got drafted by a team that was all set in terms of need .. but then drafted me anyway.
"I'll always remember that: how the Minnesota Vikings wanted me -- and wanted to bet on my potential."
In a statement, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman called Rudolph "one of the premier tight ends in the NFL," adding that Rudolph was one of the most influential leaders he's ever been around.
"Kyle and [his wife] Jordan have made such an immeasurable impact on our team and community that may never be matched," Spielman said. "The energy they have invested in the community, most notably through the End Zone at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, is truly remarkable.
"I admire Kyle and we will miss him and his family. We sincerely wish them the best."
Rudolph, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, caught 28 passes on 37 targets for 334 yards and one touchdown in the 2020 season.
Minnesota selected Rudolph in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. In 140 career games with the Vikings, Rudolph recorded 453 receptions for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns.