Ok Vikings fans, you can calm down now.
Kyle Rudolph will return to the Vikings.
After an offseason with many rumors about the Minnesota Vikings all-time leader in touchdowns by a tight end (41), those rumors now turn to mush.
Rudolph has signed a four-year, $36 million extension that will give Kirk Cousins another target for at least the next couple years.
There was much speculation throughout the offseason that Rudolph would be traded, and that the Vikings were fielded calls for the former Notre Dame product.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer continued to express confidence that Rudolph would be resigned.
In the offseason, the Vikings also drafted Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. This seemed to cloud Rodolph’s future with the Vikings.
Cousins will now have more than one dynamic duo in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Smith Jr. and Rudolph will provide Cousins with another duo that will most certainly help with blocking and the passing attack.
Throw in an offensive line that has improved during the offseason most notably with the addition of 1st round pick, Garret Bradbury, and you could have the makings for an improved Vikings offense.
Why Resigning Rudolph was a must
Let’s face it.
Rudolph might not put up Gronk type numbers. That’s just not the Vikings offense. Especially considering the fact that Mike Zimmer wants to reestablish the running game in Minnesota.
Don’t expect “Rudy” to catch 80 passes in 2019, but make no mistake. He brings huge value to the Vikings.
Rudolph has sacrificed production during the last couple seasons to stay in as a blocker in passing situations on account of a leaky Vikings offensive line. Throw in the fact that he can run block, and you’ve got a tight end that was a must resign.
Plus, it wasn’t like it was a bank-breaking deal.
Rudolph’s new deal comes with $16 million in guarantees, with him making $9 million guaranteed for this season.
After eight seasons in purple, it looks as though this contract will make Rodolph retire a Viking.