New York Jets reach free-agent deal with Tyler Conklin, source says

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets doubled down on the tight end position in free agency, agreeing to a contract with former Minnesota Vikings starter Tyler Conklin, a league source confirmed Wednesday night.

It's a three-year, $21 million deal for Conklin, a source said.

He joins C.J. Uzomah in the Jets' new-look tight end room. On Monday, Uzomah left the Cincinnati Bengals for a three-year, $24 million contract with New York.

Tight end has been a perennial trouble spot for the Jets. Only once in the past 10 years did a Jets tight end eclipse 500 receiving yards -- Chris Herndon (502) in 2018. Herndon was traded last preseason to Minnesota, where he wound up riding the bench as Conklin emerged as the starter after an injury to Irv Smith Jr.

Conklin's agreement was first reported by the NFL Network.

Conklin's market as a free agent increased significantly on March 8 when three tight ends -- David Njoku, Dalton Schultz and Mike Gesicki -- received the franchise tag from their respective clubs.

The former fifth-round pick became the Vikings' No. 1 tight end target after Smith was sidelined by an MCL injury for all of last season. Conklin had previously held a steady role in the Vikings' offense from 2018 to '20, but he thrived in a larger capacity when he transitioned from a predominantly blocking tight end to a reliable pass-catching threat for quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Conklin was targeted 87 times in 2021 and caught a career-high 61 passes for 593 yards and three touchdowns. His transition from a backup to starter began in earnest a year earlier when an injury sustained by former Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph made way for Conklin to catch 19 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown in the final four games of the 2020 season.

In four seasons, Conklin has 93 receptions for 922 yards and four touchdowns.

ESPN's Courtney Cronin contributed to this report.