Tight end Kyle Rudolph agrees to five-year contract extension
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The Vikings have made it clear they have big plans for tight end Kyle Rudolph this season. It turns out the organization also expects him to be a big part of their plans well into the future.
The Vikings announced Sunday night that Rudolph received a five-year contract extension. The 24-year-old was in the final year of his deal. Fox's Jay Glazer, who broke the story, reported that Rudolph's new contract is set to pay him $36.5 million. That would make Rudolph the game's fifth highest-paid tight end, according to NFL.com.
The contract reportedly contains $19.4 million in guarantees, including a $6.5 million signing bonus and means he is now under contract through 2019.
Rudolph, a second-round pick by the Vikings in 2011 out of Notre Dame, had nine touchdown receptions in 2012, the second most in Vikings history and the second most in the NFL by a tight end that season. He has 15 touchdowns in 39 career games to rank fifth in Vikings history for tight ends.
Rudolph caught 30 passes for 313 yards with three touchdowns in eight games last season. He missed half the season because of a fractured foot suffered in the third quarter of a Nov. 3 loss at Dallas.
"I'm extremely excited to get this extension completed and continue my career with the Minnesota Vikings," Rudolph said in a statement released 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."
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, also in a statement, said: "I'm very excited to get this extension done with Kyle. 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."