Rudolph gets $6.5 million to sign on deal with maximum value of $40 million


Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has a new five-year extension, announced tonight by the team and reportedly carrying a base value of $36.5 million.  A source with knowledge of the terms has shared some additional details with PFT.

Rudolph gets a $6.5 million signing bonus.  Along with a technically non-guaranteed but as a practical matter fully guaranteed base salary of $956,343 for 2014, Rudolph definitely will earn $7.456 million in the next five months.

Per the source, the deal has another $12 million in injury-only guarantees that eventually convert to full guarantees on the third day of a given league year.  (The number of years over which the guaranteed money is spread isn’t currently known.  Until the relevant dates pass and the money becomes fully guaranteed, it’s not actually or practically guaranteed.)

On the back end, Rudolph earns an extra $750,000 for each year in which he catches 80 passes, and $500,000 for each year he makes it to the Pro Bowl.  Over five years, that’s a total of $6.25 million in available incentives, but the total he can earn through these accomplishments is capped at a total of $3.5 million.

The base new-money value of $7.3 million puts him behind only Jimmy Graham ($10 million in new money), Rob Gronkowski ($9 million), Jason Witten ($7.4 million), and Vernon Davis ($7.35 million).  A single 80-catch season will throw another $0.25 million on the annual average, vaulting Rudolph ahead of Witten and Davis.

Eighty catches won’t be a breeze, but in Norv Turner’s offense it’s a distinct possibility.

76 responses to “Rudolph gets $6.5 million to sign on deal with maximum value of $40 million

  1. I’ve watched a lot of Vikings games over the past few seasons and while he is a solid starting NFL tight end he’s stiff in the hips. Yes he’s had bad QB play but watch this guy and you can see he’s not that athletic to get downfield.

    To think he’s barely getting paid less than what Jordy Nelson got yesterday to play WR is mind boggling.

  2. only 2 tight ends managed 80 or more catches last season – Graham & Cameron … not that easy for Rudolph given that nobody knows how Teddy will be in the NFL

  3. Lol overpaid this guy he’s not even a top 7 TE
    1. Gronk
    2. Vernon Davis
    3. Graham
    4. Mychel Rivera
    5. Jordan Cameron
    6. Blanking on his name TE from miami
    7 Dennis Pitta

  4. Former Pro Bowl MVP! The Vikings were smart to sign him now before he turns elite under Norv Turner.

  5. Better than cheese head wood packer’s overpaid and overrated Nelson+Rodgers=0 win=0 super bowl. Little hands Rodger won’t be able to hold that ball cuz he’ll get crushed by Anthony Barr so bad he’ll regret playing for the small town packers who whines and cry every time they lose championship like Brett did in 07. Carl Schmitt was out in the cold/dark 2:00 am in the morning begging for mercy from Vikings.

  6. I’m sorry, did you just say that KYLE RUDOLPH is the fifth highest paid TE in the NFL? That’s ridiculous. That’d be like someone making Joe Flacco a top five QB.

    ….Oh wait.

  7. Smart move by the Vikes. Norv learned his lesson from making Jordan Cameron a star last year, only to have him demand big $ this year, in Jordan’s contract year.

  8. He’s obviously in the upper echelon of tight ends. If you disagree than you are just a hater. Don’t be a hater bc honestly its a waste of your short time on earth.

  9. He’s a stud, and if/when Peterson is no longer in the picture, he will arguably become the most important ingredient to the success of that offense.

    Also, thank you for contexting his deal against that of the other TEs. He belongs above Witten and below a [badly overpaid] Gronk, so with the 80-catch incentive this strikes me as a good deal for everyone involved.

  10. Only Pack fans know how to manage a roster, sign players to extensions and play the role of NFL General Manager………everyone else is a fool…..including real NFL GMs.

  11. Last year they cut Winfield to sign freeman. Now they let defensive tackle Williams leave to extend Rudolph. Your gm is holding your team back.

  12. Seems like this contract and the Everson Griffin deal are both reaches. Neither is a bad player, but the Vikings are paying top-end money to above-average talent. Just re-signing draft picks to large deals shouldn’t convince the fan base that they’re actually worth it…but that seems to happen in Minnesota a lot. These guys wouldnt get this kind of money in Green Bay or Chicago.

  13. That is a lot of money for the team’s 2nd in receiving yards TE last season.

    He had 313 yards receiving last season. In his first 3 years he averaged 351 yards a season.

    If you divide 7.1 million by his career average of 351 yards a season, that’s paying him $20,228 per receiving yard.

    That tops the deal they gave TE John Carlson, 5 year, 25 million in 2012. Carlson had 31 more yards receiving last year than Rudolph.

    These are the type of deals that make Rick Spielman’s reputation. I hope he is GM of the vikings for another 10 years!!

  14. He caught what 30 passes last year? 50 more sounds like a tall order especially with the uncertainty at QB. Nobody was thinking he’s the next Antonio Gates when he was in college and there’s no way with Cordaralle and A.P that the new offense will revolve around Kyle.

  15. Top 5 WRs in the league:

    1. Eric Decker
    2. Dez Bryant
    3. Riley Cooper
    4. Andre Johnson
    5. Steve Smith

    Bottom 5:

    5. DeSean Jackson
    4. Wes Welker
    3. Larry Fitzgerald
    2. Calvin Johnson
    1 Pierre Garçon


  16. I like Rudolph, but they over-payed him. His career high receptions are 53, yards at under 500. And he’s returning from a season in which he missed half of it due to injury. Sure, he’s in a system that favors tight ends now. But they should’ve made him prove it for a year before giving him big money.

  17. Other NFL dream team fans are jealous already cuz they ain’t got a TE like Rudolph. Jets going down hill with old Vick and Geno. Rudolph+Patterson+Jennings+AP super stars. What you have on Jets? nobody. CJ can’t even catch up to my grandma. Jets don’t fly like jets they’re like bunch of turtles that’s why they will never win another super bowl. Vick+Geno+overpaid, overrated Welker from U of M=0 win=0 super bowl. God’s team? Dream team is more likely home boy!!!!!hahahahah, you don’t know what ur talking about home boy!!!!!!!!!

  18. With the league salary cap increasing every year this is a good deal. He is just 24 and prior to breaking his leg last year, was coming off a pro bowl 9 TD year and had gone from 26 to 53 catches. He is clearly a top 10 and rising TE and his money is right in line with that stature. They are counting on a huge year in this offense and his price would have been much higher after the season. Rudolph was the key 2015 free agent and with his signing the Vikings have absolutely no 2015 free agents that are starters. The future is bright!

  19. Packer fans saying this is a bad signing.

    Their team gave 2 years, $15M to something called “Jermichael Finley.”

    I rest my case.

  20. I guess if you’re anticipating the TE market exploding (safe bet) and you’re anticipating Rudolph to explode (50/50) and factoring in for the cap rising, then it might not be so bad. I mean considering what Gronk and Graham got paid and the fact that there are a bunch of young and up and comers. Still though it seems like a reach. I will say that out of all the TEs he’s the only one other than Gronk and Davis that can really do it both in the blocking game (criminally underappreciated by most fans and pundits alike) and the passing game.

  21. With great QB’s throwing him the ball he was the pro bowl MVP. You can’t quote numbers in a season where he was injured. Maybe he was slightly overpaid, but if Norv gets things rolling, he will earn every penny. We are just used to guys being paid for what they did in the past rather than watching them earn their paychecks as they do something.

  22. Fine player, but this is the worst contract I can think of in recent years. Maybe $5 million per year but not 8. If he became a free agent no one else was going to give him this kind of money.

  23. $6.5 mil?? Why not? We all know Rodgers makes $1.98 per year, and he is getting overpaid.

    Packers fans can give it, but they can’t take it.

  24. IMO he’s the Alshon Jeffery of TEs. A young, huge-framed guy with great hands and the potential to be a clutch player for years to come, especially in the redzone. The Bears will have Alshon locked up long-term by this time next year, and the Vikings were wise to do likewise with this guy.

  25. The Vikings need to build their defense into a ferocious unit like Seattle, not overpay for an average TE and wasting cap space.

    AP will be gone soon and the hot mess in Minny will continue.

    Bad QB play, bad defense, lousy GM = poor franchise going no where fast.

  26. Cheese heads are drinking yellow kool-aid if they don’t think Rudolph is a lot better than what they got right now. Overpaid, overrated Rodger+Nelson=0 win=0 super bowl. While Lion fans are drinking blue kool-aid, if they think Caldwell is taking the team to super bowl. He’s useless, can’t coach. Looks like some one who smokes opium.

  27. Way overpaid based on his production alone. Then on the flip side Jordy Nelson based on his production signs a contract that keeps him with the Packers for an average of 8.5 million/year which makes him underpaid based on production and salaries of other WR’s.

    The only downside is that if Finley is cleared….he’ll argue that he should make more than Rudolph based on his production alone. And he’d be right. But the Packers won’t overpay him like the Vikings did Rudolph.

  28. “$6.5 mil?? Why not? We all know Rodgers makes $1.98 per year, and he is getting overpaid.”

    The difference is that Rodgers is proven and one of if not the best QB in the NFL. He’s also an MVP, SB MVP and SB Champion playng the most important position on any NFL team. If he’s overpaid, then how do you reconcile the fact that his cap hit is only 500k per year more than Cutler?

    If you’re the GM of a hypothetical expansion team and can pick any NFL QB to be your starter, Rodgers would be that pick in a landslide. Meanwhile, Peterson has cap hits that are in the 14 million range coming up at a time when stud RB’s are getting half of that. SKOLOL!

  29. Why not over pay Rudolph? They overpaid Craig Jennings and Berriman big time. They actually let Rodgers sit in the Green Room while they drafted Troy “Stone Hands” Williamson at #7 overall so its not like this is the first time a Viking GM overpaid someone to catch the ball.

    You don’t finish in last place three out of the last 4 years just by making a single mistake (like drafting Ponder at #12 overall when he should have went in the 4th round). You have to make a bunch of mistakes over a period to time to suck this badly and regrettably, making Rudolph the 5th highest paid TE is just another in a long line of them.

  30. SURPRISE!! I’m actually not going to be a turd bay hater on this one, but don’t expect any compliments toward them either. That ain’t NEVER going to happen.
    Rudolph, even though his stats may not reflect it, IMHO, is a top 10 TE. His hands are huge, and he uses them very well. I’ve seen some unbelievable catches made by him, and so, if any of the 3 QB’s on the Vikings’ roster get him the ball with any consistency, he’ll have another Pro Bowl season.
    HOWEVER, the numbers…so far, if you insist on using them as a major indicator, don’t justify his new contract numbers.
    In a way, (partially because I’ve seen his abilities, and what he is capable of on the field), I think he is deserving of his new paydays…IF his production reflects it. On the other hand, if he starts getting the rock fed to him as a “go to” guy, like, say, gronk

  31. “dabears2485 says: I like Rudolph, but they over-payed him. His career high receptions are 53, yards at under 500. And he’s returning from a season in which he missed half of it due to injury. Sure, he’s in a system that favors tight ends now. But they should’ve made him prove it for a year before giving him big money.”

    What do you know… an honest opinion from a division rival fan. *salute dabears* Unlike your brethren from the north, you sir have class.

  32. Jermichael Finley (GB-TE) 2yr/15M (7.5M/yr)
    GP 6 REC 25 YDS 300 Ave 12 LG 52 TD 3 Fum 0
    GP 16 REC 61 YDS 667 Ave 10.9 LG 40 TD 2 Fum 1

    Kyle Rudolph (MN-TE) 5yr/36.5M (6.5M/yr)
    GP 8 REC 30 YDS 313 Ave 10.4 LG 31(T) TD 3 Fum 0
    GP 16 REC 53 YDS 493 Ave 9.3 LG 29 TD 9 Fum 0

    Given the fact that Finley is less productive and paid more than Rudolph, I can really see now how the cheeseheads would think Rudolph was being overpaid.

  33. Hmmmmmm.

    Packer fans have difficulty with this “new” math!!!!

    Finley= paid more than Rudolph, with worse stats.

    Rudolph is younger as well…….packer fans, you are too eay to make fun of!!!!

    Hmmmmm……basic math is lost on packer trolls.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!