Updated: 07/28/2014 1:25 PM
Created: 07/27/2014 10:08 PM KSTP.com
By: Chris Long
Neither the Vikings nor Kyle Rudolph seemed to want the Pro Bowl tight end to play into the final year of his rookie contract. The two sides remedied the situation by agreeing to a five-year extension.
Rudolph's agent tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the deal is for a $36.5-million, with $19.4-million of that guaranteed.
The average annual salary and the guaranteed money in the new deal place him among the top five NFL tight ends.
“I’m extremely excited to get this extension completed and continue my career with the Minnesota Vikings," Rudolph said in a statement issued by the team. "I’ve said all along I wanted to stay in Minnesota. I love the fans, the community and, most importantly, I’m excited about where this team is going. I’m looking forward to the 2014 season and helping this organization reach our ultimate goal.”
“I’m very excited to get this extension done with Kyle," said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman in the same statement. "We drafted him, he’s done a tremendous job since he’s been here. Our whole focus on moving forward in this organization is to draft our players, develop them and keep them here. He’s one of our young guys who is going to be a building block as we go forward in the future and just very excited to get this behind us so we can look forward to seeing him produce over the coming years.”
Rudolph caught 9 touchdown passes in 2012, the 2nd most in Vikings history and the 2nd most in the NFL by a tight end that season. In 39 career games he has scored 15 touchdowns, ranking 5th in Vikings history for tight ends. A 2nd-round pick (#43 overall) in 2011, Rudolph caught 30 passes for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2013. Following the 2012 season, Rudolph earned Pro Bowl MVP honors after hauling in 5 passes for 122 yards and 1 touchdown. The 24-year-old Cincinnati native is entering his 4th NFL season.