Tyler Conklin has an interest in re-signing with the Vikings but no idea what will happen next week in free agency.
Conklin, who last season became just the fifth different tight end in team history to catch 60 passes, is expected to become a free agent next Wednesday. But his price tag may be too high for the cap-disputed Vikings to keep, especially as he could be seen as a potential replacement for Irv Smith Jr., who missed all of last season. due to a knee injury.
“I would love to be back in Minnesota if it makes sense for both parties,” Conklin said Thursday in a phone interview. “But I don’t have those answers. But I love Minnesota. My girlfriend loves Minnesota.
Conklin, who caught 61 passes for 593 yards and three touchdowns last season after replacing the injured Smith as a starter, said he didn’t get an offer from the Vikings.
Salary cap analyst Jason Fitzgerald said on Thursday he expects Conklin, who earned $920,000 in 2021, to be able to “a little more” with his contract than the $16.95 million contract. on three years that Ian Thomas recently got from Carolina. Helping Conklin in the market could be that three of the eight NFL players who received franchise tags this week are tight ends — Cleveland’s David Njoku, Miami’s Mike Gesicki and Dallas’ Dalton Schultz.
“I think we’re in a good place from a market perspective,” Conklin said. “Obviously there are the labels, and that took a few guys out of the market. … After finally having the opportunity to show what I can do by going into my fourth year, and going into free agency and having a good year and being healthy, you can’t ask for a lot more.
Conklin said he has yet to speak to Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell, but has spoken to new tight ends coach Brian Angelichio. O’Connell replaced fired Mike Zimmer and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah replaced fired Rick Spielman as general manager.
“I love everything that’s happened,” Conklin said. “I think the organization is in good hands and moving in the right direction. Whether I’m there or not, I can’t wait to see how things go.