After weeks of trade rumors and prior broken-down negotiations over a contract extension, Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph confirmed a report that the team has offered him a five-year extension, according to multiple reports Wednesday.
FILE PHOTO: Dec 23, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) reaches for a first down during the second half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Rudolph, 29, was quoted by ESPN on the second day of the Vikings organized team activities (OTAs) as asserting the Pro Football Talk report was accurate. The PFT report stated that the team’s offer would make Rudolph one of the highest-paid tight ends in the NFL.
“That’s what they’re working at,” Rudolph said, per ESPN. “We’re in a tough situation. Everybody knows that. That’s why we (the Vikings) have the best salary-cap guy in the NFL and I believe I have one of the best agents. So, like I said, they’re working really hard.’’
One week earlier Rudolph, whose 41 touchdown receptions rank as the most in franchise history for tight ends, firmly told the Star-Tribune that he was “too young” to take a pay cut to remain a Viking.
Rudolph has one year left on his contact and is due $7.5 million in 2019. The Vikings have about $1.13 million left in cap space, which ranks as the second-lowest amount of available in their budget in the league, according to Over The Cap.
Despite his contract status being up in the air, the veteran has participated in all voluntary OTA workouts thus far.
“I don’t know what kind of example it would set if I wanted to be here and I wasn’t here,” he said. “And that’s not the kind of person I am. If I was at home right now and everybody else was out here at practice, that would be really hard for me.”
Minnesota drafted Alabama tight end Irv Smith in the second round as a potential replacement.
Rudolph, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, has spent his eight-year NFL career in Minnesota, catching 386 passes for 3,787 yards and 41 touchdowns. He had 64 receptions for 634 yards and four scores last season. He ranks second in team history for catches and receiving yards among tight ends.
—Field Level Media