Vikings, Rudolph reach contract extension agreement


"The Patriots aren't about to give up a premium pick, and I don't mean a first-round pick, a premium pick for a guy going into the past year of his contract at this time", Schefter said Friday on WEEI.

Following the agreement, Rudolph took to Twitter to share a message about staying in Minnesota.

A 2011 second-round pick, Rudolph has amassed some of the best tight end numbers in franchise history. The team is now close to the salary cap, and still needs to free up some space to sign practice squad players, extend players, or just generally have breathing room during the season to sign injury replacements. Rudolph himself confirmed that his extension will lower his cap number for the 2019 season, which would imply that his salary has been lowered. The Vikings and Rudolph had previously been at an impasse in contract talks with the Patriots considered a possible trade destination. It wasn't the biggest season, but it was still a solid all-around year. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound pass-catcher made the Pro Bowl in his second season. "With the guys we have, we can still open up formations or use them as wide receivers per se".

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What is less clear is how much of that money is guaranteed to Kyle Rudolph. "It's like having another coach out there".

Smith's 21st birthday will coincide with Minnesota's first preseason game in his hometown of New Orleans against the Saints. Keeping both of them, especially with the roles tight ends have played in Gary Kubiak's offenses before and the concepts that coordinator Kevin Stefanski has voiced a desire to employ regularly, was critical for the success of this unit.

"I am just impressed by the kid", Stefanski said earlier this month. He is playing fast.