Minnesota Vikings acquire TE Chris Herndon from New York Jets, sources say

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Herndon, a veteran tight end for the New York Jets, has been traded to the Minnesota Vikings.
It is unknown what the exact trade compensation was. The trade was first reported by the NFL Network.

The Minnesota trade was made one day after Mike Zimmer announced that Irv Jr. would be having surgery to correct a meniscus injury sustained during Friday's team's preseason finale in Kansas City. Zimmer didn't give a timeline for Smith's return. This could be due to the severity of the injury.

Smith was poised for a breakout year at the time of his injury. He had risen to the top on the tight end depth chart following the departure from Kyle Rudolph in free agency. Smith caught three touchdowns on twenty targets in the last four games of the 2020 season and had 30 catches for 365 yard and five scores.

Herndon was a promising rookie in 2018, when he caught 39 passes for 502 yard and four touchdowns. The 2018 fourth-round selection has not been able to match that performance. After a DUI arrest, Herndon was placed on suspension in 2019. He injured his hamstring and returned to the field. Herndon fractured a rib in his first game against the New York Giants in November 2019. He was then placed on injured reserve.

Herndon struggled last season with drops and fumbles, but he became a more blocking tight end. He rebounded towards the end of 2020 with 31 catches for 287 yards, and three touchdowns.

Herndon had just completed his third offensive system in four seasons. It appeared that Jets coaches didn't see him as a good fit for a West Coast scheme. Herndon was still the team’s most powerful blocking tight end. However, he lost his job at the top tight end of the team.

Herndon will fill a crucial role among Vikings tight ends depending on how much Smith will be away from work after his meniscus surgery. Zimmer said that the position's depth was "not very good" after Smith's injury. Minnesota expects its No. Minnesota is expecting its No. 2 tight end Tyler Conklin to return to full practice on Monday. Conklin has been sidelined since Aug. 16 with a hamstring injury.

This report was contributed by Rich Cimini, ESPN.