On Tuesday, the Mike Zimmer Foundation held its first annual Mike Zimmer Golf Classic in Eden Prairie. It was an opportunity to raise money for the foundation, and the press was able to ask some questions about what’s going on with the Minnesota Vikings as well.
As you’d probably expect, the topic of tight end Kyle Rudolph and his future with the team came up, and for what it’s worth Zimmer expressed optimism about whether or not he thought #82 would be in purple again in 2019.
“I’ve had conversations with Kyle,” Zimmer said. “Quite honestly, I really love all my players. We expect Kyle to be here. Sometimes business gets in the way.”
That, no doubt, is a reference to the negotiations between the Vikings and Rudolph’s camp, which broke down late last week.
Rudolph, as he has throughout this process, expressed his desire to remain with the team that selected him in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
“Change happens,” Rudolph said. “You don’t realize how many guys change teams on a yearly basis. Obviously, that’s not what we’re hoping for. We’ve been very fortunate to be in one place going on nine years and this is home for us. It’s going to be home for us. That’s the way we want it to be.”
It sounds like both sides want a resolution to come sooner rather than later. If the Vikings were to trade or release Rudolph, it would clear off about $7.5 million of cap space. As it stands right now, the Vikings don’t have enough cap space to sign their first-round draft choice, North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury, because they currently have the lowest amount of available cap space in the NFL.
For what it’s worth, longtime Twin Cities columnist Charley Walters has said that Rudolph’s status “should be determined” before the team’s minicamp that starts on 21 May. That’s just a week away, so this appears to be a developing situation that we’ll be keeping our eyes on to see what happens.