Vikings, Kyle Rudolph Agree To Extension

The Vikings are giving veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph a four-year, $36MM extension, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Rudolph’s contract made it seem as though the two sides were headed for certain divorce, but the new deal will smooth out the tight end’s cap hit in the interim while presumably giving him guarantees beyond the 2019 season. 

Rudolph’s deal will pay him $9M this year, according to Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune (on Twitter). His 2019 salary is fully guaranteed, and his 2020 salary is guaranteed for injury. He’ll get $1.625MM added to his $7.625MM base for this year, giving him $9MM guaranteed in ’19 and $16.025MM in total guarantees (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). After 2020, Rudolph will effectively be on a year-to-year deal until its conclusion in 2023.

All along, Rudolph has said that he wanted to stay with the Vikings, though he was unwilling to take a pay cut. After achieving both goals, it’s clear that Rudolph is happy about the new deal.

Just under a decade ago, I received a phone call that would change my life. On that day, all I knew is that I would be playing in the NFL, realizing my childhood dream. What I didn’t know was the role in the state of Minnesota would play in my life,” Rudolph wrote (on Twitter). “Marrying my wife and established our home..in Minnesota. Experiencing the birth of my three beautiful children…in Minnesota. Starting a journey to better the lives of children dealing with a disease that doesn’t discriminate…in Minnesota. Giving everything I can possibly give, professionally and personally, to the greatest sports franchise and its fans…in Minnesota. And I am honored beyond words to say that my home, our home, will always be…in Minnesota!”

Before the pact, the Vikings had just $612K in cap room. Rudolph will now return to the Vikings where he’ll serve as the team’s No. 1 tight end and mentor to rookie Irv Smith Jr.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “Vikings, Kyle Rudolph Agree To Extension

  1. All Minnesota Sports

    God bless Rick Spielman and Kyle Rudolph. What a great damn way to start the day. Such a high character player and immeasurable to the team chemistry and commitment.

    • Chris

      I guess you have an inside track as a Vikings fan, but for a lot of us on the outside looking in, this doesn’t look like a smart deal

      • cka2nd

        If he bounces back in TD production and helps give Cousins the two-TE sets that he excels in, it should be worth it. Also, while the 2019 money is guaranteed, the 2020 money is only guaranteed for injury, and there’s no guaranteed money after that. It also freed up some cap space this year. 60+ receptions and 6 TD’s a year is nothing to sneeze at if he can continue the pace of the last four years.

    • Hannibal8us

      To have two pass catching WRs, to give Cousins more options since he loves throwing to TEs, to cover the decline of Rudolph due to age, for Rudolph to mentor and guide, and because they think Irv could be a beast.

      • Pablo

        And treadwell wears grease on his gloves so they’d probably thought Irv could do better in a slot run.

        • hinegm01

          They’ll run more 2 TE sets this year. If the offense stays healthy it should be a fun year. The offense isn’t very deep though so health will be vital to the success of the Vikings.

    • cka2nd

      Because in his career, Cousins has had the most success in two-TE sets featuring two pass-catching TE’s. Also because Smith can also take over most of the snaps and targets of the WR3, heretofore Treadwell for most of the last two seasons. This year’s WR3, whoever it turns out to be, will really get only the snaps and targets of a WR4, similar to last year’s Aldrick Robinson or Jarius Wright the last two years he was with Minnesota. Smith will be lining up all over the place, in-line and out as a TE, in the slot and outside as a WR, and in the backfield as a FB or H-back. Rudy and Irv will complement each other, probably for the next four years.

    • cka2nd

      By whom and compared to who? He’s been more productive and cheaper than Jimmy Graham the last four years and Jordan Reed the last three. Thanks to their injuries, he’s been more productive and cheaper than Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker the last four years. Walker’s made $4 million more than Rudy over that time period, and I don’t have a problem with that, but Olsen’s made half-again as much as Rudolph has made, and I don’t think Olsen is 50% better than Rudolph.

  2. What a class act. The neighborhood this kid went to high school (Price Hill) in Cincinnati, is one of the worst I have ever seen. Very nice to see the Elder kids do well.

  3. crosseyedlemon

    Looks like Rudolph will be employed by the Chamber of Commerce when he retires, unless he is inducted into the Spam Museum…in Minnesota.

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