Skip to main content

Kyle Rudolph: "I think I'm worth every dime of my contract"

Rudolph recorded 334 yards and one touchdown last season.
Kyle Rudolph

With the Minnesota Vikings pressed up against the salary cap, they need to find relief this offseason. One popular solution is to cut tight end Kyle Rudolph, but the Vikings tight end believes that he still has something to offer to the team.

Speaking on the "Unrestricted with Ben Leber" podcast, Rudolph said he was "worth every dime" of his contract, which calls for the 31-year-old to make $9.45 million in 2021 per Spotrac.

"I think I'm worth every dime of my contract," Rudolph said. "That doesn't mean I'm used to my potential and I'm used to do what I do well. So it will be interesting over the next few months. I have three years left on my contract. I don't want to go anywhere else."

Rudolph's comments are interesting considering he's coming off one of his worst seasons since his rookie year. Rudolph made 28 catches for 334 yards and one touchdown in 12 games, but seemed to hint that he wasn't used properly in the Vikings offense, but took one for the team.

"I can either get really good at the only thing I'm asked to do or I can complain about it and throw a fit," Rudolph explained. "What's going to be more productive for our team and for this organization?"

Even if Rudolph believes he's been misused, the Vikings' decisions over the past couple of seasons suggest he could be on the way out. The Vikings used a second-round pick in 2018 to select Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin stepped up with an increased role when Rudolph went down with a foot injury late last season.

Rudolph also had a contract squabble with the Vikings shortly after Smith was drafted. Rudolph was reportedly placed on the trade block before agreeing to a four-year, $36 million extension prior to the 2018 season.

Despite Rudolph's decline on the field, his value may also include what he brings off of it. Rudolph has a huge presence in the community including "Kyle Rudolph's End Zone" at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, which was the focus of a 2017 campaign for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

As one of the locker room leaders, Rudolph also ranks fifth in franchise history with 453 receptions and 48 receiving touchdowns during his 10 seasons in Minnesota.

Despite his resume, Rudolph's future in Minnesota could depend on the grim reality of the Vikings' salary cap situation. The Vikings are currently $13.2 million over a projected salary cap of $175 million and releasing Rudolph would create $5.1 million in savings and $8 million if designated as a post-June 1 cut.

With the Vikings slim on options to create cap space, Rudolph may not have a say in his desire to stay in Minnesota.

Next Up

7F060B54-5776-4E1A-A42C-F36C22FAF493

Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

image

State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.

image

Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Related

Kyle Rudolph

Report: Kyle Rudolph to sign with Giants

The former Vikings tight end has agreed to a two-year deal.

Kyle Rudolph

Wide Left: Vikings need to find a way to keep Kyle Rudolph

Diehard fan Blair Anderson wants the Vikings to dig for quarters in the couch.

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph sends farewell to Vikings fans in Players Tribune piece

"Every season I played here, every game I played here — you all believed."

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph inks extension: 'Our home, will always be...in Minnesota!'

The Vikings have confirmed the contract extension with Rudolph.

Kyle Rudolph

Watch: Vikings create tribute video for Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph's 10-year tenure with the Vikings ended when he was released on Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2020-01-05 at 6.12.16 PM

Kyle Rudolph's game-winning TD didn't come without controversy

Should Kyle Rudolph have been called for offensive pass interference?

Kyle Rudolph

Vikings offseason preview: Can they get more out of the tight ends?

Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph were modest, but can they do more?

Kyle Rudolph

Minnesota Vikings release veteran TE Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph has been with the team since 2011.