Recovered from broken foot, Kyle Rudolph hasn't talked extension
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Before he could delve into the new offensive system, Kyle Rudolph watched tape this winter of what first-year offensive coordinator Norv Turner accomplished with Jordan Cameron in Cleveland.
Rudolph, 24, is entering the last year of his rookie contract with a new head coach, a new system and a surgically repaired left foot.
"I'm excited about the new offense. Obviously everyone knows the success that Coach Turner has had with tight ends," Rudolph said. "If you go back all the way back to the Dallas days and Washington, a little bit of time in San Francisco, San Diego, you just look at the tight ends he's had, I hope to fall in line with that."
Rudolph broke two bones in his left foot in the Vikings' Nov. 3 loss at Dallas and spent the rest of Leslie Frazier's last season on injured reserve. Rudolph became more of a household name after his 122-yard, one-touchdown performance to claim the 2012 Pro Bowl MVP award, but he's yet to have that type of outing in a meaningful game in three seasons.
Though most position coaches weren't around for players this winter, the Vikings transitioned Kevin Stefanski from an assistant quarterback coach to tight ends coach this offseason. While Rudolph could confer with Stefanski ahead of time, he said he wasn't able to return to full speed workouts until mid February.
"But in a normal offseason, you're not going to run around until about the middle of February anyway," Rudolph said. "I wanted to make sure I took that time to make sure everything was good to go."
He was on pace for career highs in receptions and receiving yards before he went down last season. Even though Rudolph will get a chance to be the next big-time tight end under Turner, he's doing so with no guarantee he'll be around after 2014.
Rudolph said the Vikings have not approached him about a contract extension.
"I would like to stick around after this season. I've really enjoyed my time here," Rudolph said. "That's completely up to them. Obviously, I would love to be here for a while, but that's something you'd have to ask them. It's all on their terms, obviously."