It’s a pretty well-known fact that the Minnesota Vikings are going to have some salary cap issues this offseason, particularly if the drop in the salary cap is as drastic as some are projecting it to be. Based on his own words, it doesn’t sound like the longest-tenured Viking will be restructuring his contract again if it comes down to that.
On Ben Leber’s podcast, tight end Kyle Rudolph made it clear that a contract restructure is not something that’s in his future.
Rudolph told Leber, “I see both sides. I’m looking at this situation like hey we’re paying this guy a lot of money and you’re not using him, so why are we paying him a lot of money? I think I’m worth every dime of my contract, but that doesn’t mean that I’m used to my potential and I’m used to do what I do well.”
He also reiterated that he would not be re-doing his current deal. He did a restructure last year to open up some cap space for the team, but it appears that it won’t happen twice.
If you’d like to listen to the whole Kyle Rudolph interview with Ben Leber, you can check it out here.
Rudolph is coming off of one of his least-productive seasons since being drafted by the Vikings in 2011. He caught just 28 passes for 334 yards and one touchdown, missing the final four games of the season with an injury.
According to Over the Cap, Rudolph’s cap figure for the 2021 season is almost $9.5 million. If the team were to designate him as a post-June 1 cut, they could save $8 million while having to eat a $1.5 million dead money hit. With Irv Smith Jr. having come on towards the end of the season and Tyler Conklin making an impression over the final few games of the year in Rudolph’s absence, an unwillingness to restructure his deal likely means the end of Rudolph’s time in purple.
If we have seen the last of Kyle Rudolph as a member of the Vikings, he will have put together a pretty damn impressive run. In 10 seasons, he’s second only to Steve Jordan in receptions and receiving yardage for a tight end, and has more touchdown catches than any tight end in Vikings’ history. His 48 career touchdowns trail only Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Anthony Carter, and Sammy White in receiving touchdowns by a member of the Vikings.
This is yet another situation we’ll need to keep an eye on over the course of the offseason. However, as things stand right now, it certainly doesn’t look good for the Vikings and Kyle Rudolph being together when the 2021 season starts.