Report: Kyle Rudolph, Vikings' New Contract Talks Break Down; TE Could Be Traded

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 4: Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings signals for a first down in the fourth quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings could reportedly amplify efforts to trade tight end Kyle Rudolph after discussions about a potential contract extension broke down Friday morning.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported the update and noted "there is interest around the NFL."

Speculation about Rudolph's future in Minnesota started to heat up after the team selected Alabama Crimson Tide tight end Irv Smith Jr. with the 50th overall pick in the 2019 draft last month.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection explained to Mark Craig of the Star Tribune after the Smith choice was made that it was business as usual until told otherwise.

"Until it happens, I'm here in Minnesota," Rudolph said. "My family is here in Minnesota. This is home for us. I have poured my heart and soul into this organization and given it everything that I had. I will continue to do that as long as I'm still wearing purple."

The 29-year-old Notre Dame product is entering the final season of a five-year, $36.5 million contract with the Vikings, per Spotrac. He'll count $7.6 million against the cap for the 2019 campaign and be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

Rudolph tallied 64 catches for 634 yards and four touchdowns in 2018, which marked the fourth consecutive year he's played all 16 regular-season games for the Vikes. Pro Football Focus graded him as the league's 35th-best tight end last year.

He ranks fourth at the position in touchdown receptions (41) since Minnesota selected him in the second round of 2011 draft, per Pro Football Reference.

The Vikings' asking price for Rudolph is unclear, but given the limited number of consistent contributors at tight end around the NFL, it's no surprise the front office is already getting calls.

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