Herndon’s once-promising New York Jets career has reportedly come to an end, as a deal has been reached with the Minnesota Vikings.
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
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the New York Jets have traded tight Chris Herndon to the Minnesota Vikings for an undetermined draft pick compensation. Minnesota recently lost primary tight end Irv Smith Jr. for the season due to a meniscus injury.
Thus ends Herndon’s New York Jets career, which began with such promise in 2018. He was chosen in the fourth round out of Miami (107th overall) and developed a strong connection with fellow rookie and camp roommate Sam Darnold. Herndon ranked second on the Jets and led all rookie tight ends with 502 yards on 39 receptions, four of which went for scores.
So long, Chris Herndon.pic.twitter.com/Uilv1UiVIJ
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) August 31, 2021
However, Herndon was never able to replicate his freshman success. His sophomore season was a lost cause thanks to a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL substance abuse policy and a rib injury that limited his participation to a mere 18 snaps. He regained the Jets’ primary tight end role last season but earned only 287 yards on 31 receptions, dropping four passes in that span. This summer, Herndon lost the primary training camp snaps to veteran newcomer Tyler Kroft, making him expendable as league rosters trickle down to 53 players. His preseason participation was mostly limited to second half reps, earning a pair of receptions good for 14 yards.
Upon Herndon’s departure, only two of six players (Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi) remains from the Jets’ 2018 draft class. Herndon was also called upon to model the Jets’ new uniforms during the ensuing offseason after his breakout rookie campaign, joining Darnold, Jamal Adams, Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, and Leonard Williams in a reveal party hosted by Curb Your Enthusiasm star J.B. Smoove. None of those veterans remain with the team.
The Jets open their regular season in Charlotte on Sept. 12 against the Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
[[[UPDATE: 7:00 p.m. ET]]]: In officially announcing the trade, the Jets will also send over their sixth round pick in the upcoming draft to Minnesota in exchange for a fourth-round choice in the same selections.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags