Kyle Rudolph Confirms Rumor He's Working on New 5-Year Contract with Vikings

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2019

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph runs into the end zone untouched for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)
Jose Juarez/Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he and the Vikings are working on a contract extension.

Last week, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the Vikings have offered the veteran tight end a five-year extension that "would give Rudolph a new-money average among the highest-paid tight ends in the league." Rudolph confirmed that report but said there have been difficulties in the discussions since the Vikings are hoping to lessen his 2019 cap hit ($7.6 million) as part of the deal.

The Vikings currently have just $1.3 million in available cap space.

"That's what they're working at," Rudolph said. "We're in a tough situation. Everybody knows that. That's why we 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."

Rudolph also said he didn't believe the contract talks would extend into training camp and felt it was important to be at the team's optional team activities this week, even amid the ongoing negotiations:

"That's part of this business. It's not a bad situation to be in. I get to come out every day in practice with my teammates. A bad situation would have been cut back in March and trying to find a job. I have a job, so that's the good thing. I get to come out here each and every day and practice with my teammates and whatever happens, happens."

Rudolph, 29, caught 64 passes for 634 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. His 64.1 grade from Pro Football Focus ranked just 35th among tight ends.

Trade rumors have surrounded Rudolph for much of the offseason, particularly after the team drafted tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round in April.

But it appears Rudolph will stay in Minnesota for years to come if he and the Vikings can iron out the complexities of an extension.

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