The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph have reportedly agreed to terms on a five-year, $36.5 million deal that offers $19.4 million in guaranteed money, with the opportunity to earn up to $40 million with incentives.
This deal makes him the fifth-highest paid tight end in the game, which is frankly insane for a player coming off of a foot injury, and whose best season wouldn’t have even put him inside the top 10 for either touchdowns scored, or total receiving yards last season.
Not to mention, the Vikings don’t really have anyone to throw the ball to him, which is always a plus when trying to move the ball in a forward motion towards the end zone.
With Teddy Bridgewater competing for the starting quarterback job against Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, I guess it makes sense to lock down a security blanket type of guy, to provide an outlet to whoever wins the quarterback battle, when that player is inevitably under duress.
Admittedly, there is more to the tight end position than catching passes. Rudolph is a very good blocker, and is a major factor in opening up holes for Adrian Peterson to trounce through. I have to think this contributed to the Vikings’ decision to sign Rudolph to a lucrative deal.
But, in this, the age of the quarterback, with the rules being so catered to the forward pass, it is a highly questionable decision to invest so much into a player with such an average receiving history. The tight end has become one of the most important positions on the field, and the Vikings don’t really have a difference-maker in that department, unless you are talking about their payroll. There, Rudolph is truly making his presence felt.