Report: Vikings fielded calls about tight end Kyle Rudolph

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The Vikings fielded calls for tight end Kyle Rudolph during the draft. Unless they didn’t. Unless they did.

Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com has the latest word on whether the Vikings heard from other teams about a possible trade for the veteran tight end. Per the new report, the Vikings “fielded interest ahead of/during the draft” about a potential deal.

After the Vikings made tight end Irv Smith a second-round pick on Friday night, Albert Breer of SI.com reported that the Vikings were getting calls about Rudolph and two other veterans, cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. This reported invited speculation that the Vikings were getting the word out regarding the matter in the hopes to instigate more calls.

Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman, who once said the Vikings had “no intent” to trade receiver Percy Harvin just before they did, said this after the draft about getting calls about veteran players: “No, not really, no. I would say we didn’t.”

Maybe they didn’t. But it sure seems like they’d like to.

Entering the final year of his contract, Rudolph has a non-guaranteed base salary of $7.25 million. Speculation has lingered that the Patriots, who drafted no tight ends in the aftermath of the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, could try to trade for Rudolph, eventually.

24 responses to “Report: Vikings fielded calls about tight end Kyle Rudolph

  1. no teams will trade for these players !!! teams no that they have to let them go to pay for their draft picks. their 32nd in cap space with only 1.7 mil .

  2. they might be able to lower his cap number by adding a couple years to his deal. He’s a great pass catcher, not so good when it comes to blocking/plowing through defenders, but running a lot of 2 TE sets keeps Treadwell off the field and adds a bit more to their receiving options.

  3. They need to free up cap space to sign their draft picks, so a trade of Rudolph/Rhodes/Waynes or a release is soon coming. I’d trade Rhodes because of his current contract, and he is not playing up to that contract. I’d trade Waynes if a team offered a 3rd round pick and took on all of his contract, and I would only trade Rudy if a team offered a 2nd rd pick and took on his contract. Of the 3, I want Rudy to stay because I think he and Smith are gonna be a mismatch in 2 TE sets against and defense.

  4. ESPN said it so grain of salt. But hopefully they’re getting offers. Rudolph is a powder puff. Built like Gronk but goes out of bounds to avoid little DBs.

  5. Rudy has been a good player, decent hands, the trouble is, he was not very fast as a rookie, and now he is even slower. He also does not challenge tacklers, so most of the time he goes right down on first contact, without getting that extra couple yards on catches. He is a good blocker and that is probably the best part of his game. We will see after pre season but my bet is he gets traded, Vikings badly need that 7 Million and change to sign all of their draft picks. Waynes will probably get traded too, with PI’s now up for review, he will pick up more calls because he has always been grabby. Minnesota is pretty well set (after game 4) for corners. My bet is the gambler Spielman will trust luck against injury before he gets Holton Hill back week 5, and trusting the ACL on Mike Hughes is healed enough. I honestly liked this draft. There were better linemen available but the last 5 years have shown the need for players that can play more than one position at a high level, our center is one of those positions, TE was a need, A short yard smash mouth RB was a need. the rest of the draft offers players needed raw with a ton of upside.

  6. Fielding calls and actually receiving a serious offer are two different things. For example, a couple of months ago I sold a used car and over 50% of my phone calls were bottom feeders, people offering a dirt cheap price for a car they had even yet to set eyes upon. That’s what went on here and even Spielman isn’t that dumb to fall for it.

  7. They drafted his replacement. Another guy that will never rise above mediocre.

    And another guy that will never win a ring wearing that uniform.

  8. I would first try to re-negotiate a slight extension with him for a lower salary but more guaranteed money. I do think he and Smith together would make a good tandem for a year or two. Otherwise, if we did have to trade him, I would make the Pats (or whoever is interested in him)give fair competitive value for him (i.e. a 2020 1st or at minimun a 2nd rounder, and/or a player who can contribute or has potential but hasn’t played much).

  9. The Vikings are not trading Kyle Rudolph. They’re in win-now mode, so why trade one of your biggest offensive weapons for a 2020 draft pick? Kubiak wants to run a two tight end offense. Are the two tight ends going to be a rookie and Tyler Conklin? David Morgan? They’re all in on improving the offense and trading Rudolph makes the offense worse. I’m sure they would love to extend Rudolph, lower his cap hit, and keep him around a few more years, but I’m also sure they don’t want to give him the money he would make if he hit free agency next year. Rudolph has no incentive to extend his deal. Either they will make a big commitment to him or they’ll keep him for this year and find another tight end to go along with Smith next year.

  10. The only guy the Vikings might trade is Trae Waynes, and that would only be during the season. They have to see how Mike Hughes comes back from his ACL, get Holton Hill back from his suspension, and make sure Xavier Rhodes has gotten his old form back. If so, they can trade Waynes to a team that desperately needs a cornerback and get a better draft pick for him than they could get now.

    People are acting like the Vikings are desperate to get rid of these guys because they need the cap space. There are plenty of accounting tricks they can do to get the couple million they need to sign their draft picks. Maybe they get a couple more million to add someone like Pierre Garcon. Change a base salary to a signing bonus and you have all the space you need. Rob Brzezinski isn’t having problems sleeping at night.

  11. Of course you take phone calls! On anybody. Oh, you want to offer two 1’s? Ok. Let’s make a deal. Listening is free. You always listen.

  12. Rudolph isn’t overpaid. I wrote up a comment before. He’s actually paid exactly perfect for his production as a tight end. Prove me wrong.

  13. They are going to extend Rudolph. Elflein isn’t even going to make the starting O-line. They are going to pick up a training camp RB because Cook going to stub his toe and miss 5 weeks. They are going to be saddled down again with Treadwell. All $ goes against cap even if cut. Getting a high priced veteran doesn’t work, see booze hound Floyd. In this case it will with Garcon’. The Vikings will be a much better team. The Bears and Packers will not be as good. The Lions will be really good, hopefully Barr can pull a Rodgers on Stafford too.

  14. Rudolph isn’t going anywhere. If anything they work out a way to extend him at a lower cost / year. The draft money will have to come from either Waynes or Rhodes. I don’t see any team offering much for Rhodes given his huge contract. Waynes, for those that actually watch the games, was our best CB last year and has improved every year.

    Personally, I’d be ok with cutting Rhodes and re-signing Waynes to another lower cost / year contract. They still need to sign a veteran Safety and slot WR (experienced). Everywhere else they should be set…although you never know about kicker with the Vikes.

  15. While I don’t want to see any of these guys traded or released, the reality of it is that Rudolph is likely the most expendable at this point.

    I can see the Vikings keeping both Waynes and Rhodes for one more year, but Waynes is in the final year of his rookie contract and will command a Rhodes like salary next season. It’s hard to see both of these guys on the Viking roster in 2020. I would hate to see Waynes walk after 2019 with no compensation other than a 2021 compensatory pick. That said, I think the Vikings want to see who the best is between Waynes and Rhodes, and make a decision after this season.

    Rudolph is a great guy, but he is not worth what the Vikings will be paying him this season. He’s either going to have to take a pay cut, or I expect he’ll be either traded or released.

  16. I can see them keeping him around, especially if they plan on using a two tight end set more. He makes about the right amount of money for his production & plays well in the red zone. He’s also a great person off the field with charities and visiting sick kids. My problem is his yards after catch. Maybe he’s trying to avoid injuries, but a much smaller DB can tackle him on the first try & he goes down like a sack of potatoes or runs out of bounds. I know it’s important to stay healthy & avoid injuries, but holy cow.

  17. Never trade with new england. You will always get the short end of the deal. If new england wants him, keep him. Time to go back to the traditional vikings 2-TE sets, adding QB protection and wreaking havoc on opposing DC’s.

  18. Might be able to get 4th rounder from Patriots only if Rudolph agrees to restructure below $4.5m base for Belichick. He may even ask for a Minnesota 7th rounder thrown in.
    Otherwise the Vikings are stuck with a horrid cap situation.

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