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Kyle Rudolph released by Minnesota Vikings after 10 seasons

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The Minnesota Vikings have released veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph after 10 seasons, the group reported on Tuesday.

The move saves Minnesota $5.1 million against the compensation cap for 2021. Rudolph, 31, will turn into a free specialist without precedent for his NFL vocation.

The previous second-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2011 gave an ardent farewell in a story distributed by The Players’ Tribune considering his 10 seasons in Minnesota.

“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.”

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said something regarding Rudolph’s delivery in an articulation, calling him “one of the premier tight ends in the NFL and most influential and positive leaders I’ve 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 had three years staying on the agreement he endorsed in June 2019 after the Vikings moved toward him to rebuild his arrangement through an expansion. He was at risk for being a cap setback this offseason with a $9.45 million cap hit and a job that has diminished extensively in the Vikings’ offense in the course of the last two seasons.

Rudolph talked before this offseason about his longing for a greater part in Minnesota’s offense or somewhere else and said he would not be available to a rebuild if the group moved toward him about accepting a decrease in salary.

“I think I’m worth every dime of my contract,” Rudolph said on the podcast “Unrestricted with Ben Leber” in January. “That doesn’t mean that I’m used to my potential and I’m used to do what I do well, so it will be interesting over the next few months. Like I said, I have three years left on my contract. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’ve somehow become a pretty decent blocker because I’ve been forced to. It certainly wasn’t something that I ever did well at any point of my career. Maybe in high school because I was bigger than everyone else, but even then, I just wanted to run around and catch balls.”

Rudolph got 28 passes on 35 targets in 2020, his least yield since the 2014 season. He stirred up 334 getting yards and one score, the last of which was a lifelong low for the previous second-rounder.

At 31, Rudolph said he believes he has “a great deal of good football left” and will get an opportunity to play for his second NFL group.

Rudolph’s effect off the field was all around recorded all through his time in Minnesota. The tight end’s work with the Masonic Children’s Hospital prompted him being the Vikings’ Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate three straight occasions from 2017-19.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins called Rudolph “the smartest player I’ll ever play with” in a tweet that gave proper respect to his previous colleague, who likewise drew acclaim from mentor Mike Zimmer.

“Kyle has been a leader and mentor for us on and off the field from the first day I arrived in Minnesota,” Zimmer said. “He has been such an important part of this team and community throughout his career and it has been an honor to coach him the last seven seasons. He will be missed, and we wish him and his family nothing but the best.”

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Brooklyn Nets sign Alize Johnson to a multiyear, $4.1M contract

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Forward Alize Johnson has consented to a multiyear deal the Brooklyn Nets worth up to $4.1 million, his agent, George Langberg, revealed to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Johnson’s productivity permitted him to parlay two consecutive 10-day contracts into his new deal with the Nets.

Johnson had his choice of a bit more guaranteed money elsewhere, however needed to stay the course with the Nets, where he has averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds on 65.7% shooting in six appearances.

Prior to joining the Nets, Johnson played 31 games with the Indiana Pacers over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

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Los Angeles Angels’ Dexter Fowler with torn ACL injury, out for season

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Los Angeles Angels starting right fielder Dexter Fowler has a torn left ACL that will require season-ending surgery, the group declared Sunday.

Fowler, 35, injured himself while sprinting into a second base on an attempted forceout in Friday’s down against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida. Fowler beat the throw from Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette and didn’t slide, inciting him to show up gracelessly and crumple to the ground in pain.

The Angels at first diagnosed Fowler to have a sprained left knee, however a follow-up MRI revealed that it was far more serious. The team said Fowler is expected to need six to nine months to recover after surgery.

“Comeback season has commenced,” Fowler said Sunday. “The cards I’ve been dealt, so you’ve got to deal with them and go at it like that.”

Fowler, who is set to be a free specialist after the season, doesn’t think the injury is career-ending.

“I want to continue to play,” he said. “I think I’ve still got a lot left in the tank. Right now I just want to get the knee back right and get going again.”

Heavenly messengers director Joe Maddon said he replace Fowler with Juan Lagares and Jose Rojas, the last of whom is right now serving in as a utility infielder. Before Sunday’s down against the Blue Jays was delayed because of downpour, Rojas had been scheduled to begin at third base instead of Anthony Rendon, who was managing irritation in his left crotch that came about because of a throw Saturday.

Fowler, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in early February, was 5-for-20 with six strikeouts to start the 2021 season and has batted .218/.320/.370 in the course of recent years. Be that as it may, Maddon, who recently oversaw Fowler with the Chicago Cubs, said he accepted the outfielder was simply beginning to get moving obnoxiously and will miss his essence in the team.

“He’s one of those glue guys, man,” Maddon said. “He really makes a difference. He does. You talk about it all the time with clubhouse guys, but this guy really is one.”

Fowler’s injury creates an immediate opening for the Angels’ two most encouraging youthful players, Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, both of whom are working out at the group’s substitute site in Tempe, Arizona, before the small time season starts. Adell battled as a new kid on the block a year ago, and Marsh presently can’t seem to play above Double-An in the wake of expenditure the Covid abbreviated 2020 season playing mostly intrasquad games.

Maddon said he would concede to the Angels’ minor league development staff on when Adell and Marsh are major league ready.

“It’s hard for me to imagine that they’ve tightened up their game [from spring training] to the point where you want to bring them up yet,” Maddon said.

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Bengals release RB Giovani Bernard after eight seasons

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The Cincinnati Bengals have released veteran running back Giovani Bernard, the team declared on Wednesday.

Bernard, 29, has played all of his eight NFL seasons with the franchise that drafted him in the second round in 2013. He has showed up in 115 games and rushed for 3,697 yards and 22 touchdowns. He likewise had 342 receptions for 2,867 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The former North Carolina player was entering the last year of a two-year extension he endorsed in September 2019. The Bengals will acquire $4.1 million in salary-cap savings with Bernard’s release and incur just $666,667 in dead money against the cap, as indicated by Roster Management System.

Bernard began a career-high 10 games in 2020 in light of the fact that Joe Mixon was out with a foot injury. His best rushing performance was a 83-yard exertion in a win over Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football, the Bengals’ first victory over the Steelers since 2015. It was Bernard’s most elevated hurrying absolute since Week 16 of the 2017 season.

Mixon, who marked a four-year, $48 million extension a year ago, tweeted Wednesday that he “can’t thank him enough for all he has meant to my career.”

The Bengals have parted ways with several notable veterans who were essential for the group’s season playoff runs from 2011 to 2015. The team released former All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins prior this offseason and didn’t re-sign former Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green.

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