Would Vikings pay some of Kyle Rudolph’s salary to trade him?

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The battle lines are drawn between the Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph. They want him to take less money, and he doesn’t want to take less money.

A trade doesn’t seem to be an option, because the Vikings have done everything but purchase billboard space outside Gillette Stadium advertising the eight-year veteran. But what if the Vikings, who want to dump or at least reduce Rudolph’s $7.275 million base salary, would be willing to utilize the fairly new trend of paying a portion of Rudolph’s salary to facilitate the move?

It would be a simple formula. The Vikings pay, for example, $2 million, the new team pays $5.275 million, and the new team sends a low-round pick to Minnesota. It’s an alternative to cutting Rudolph and getting nothing, or to paying him the full $7.275 million for one last year.

Ultimately, the team’s best play may be to keep Rudolph. Rookie Irv Smith is completely unproven, and the depth chart behind him lacks a guy who can produce like the 6-6 football mattress who has an even more important role in an offense without a clear No. 3 receiver behind Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.

Here’s what the Vikings also could do: Wait. In time, they’ll see whether Smith can get it done. They’ll see whether Rudolph can still perform at a high level. And, ultimately, they’d be able to squeeze Rudolph with a proposed pay cut at a time when rosters elsewhere are set, offering him less than $7.275 million but more than anyone else would pay him at that point.

Regardless, Rudolph has made it clear that the ball is in the team’s court. And the options are cut him, trade him (possibly by paying some of his salary), or wait to make a decision later.

64 responses to “Would Vikings pay some of Kyle Rudolph’s salary to trade him?

  1. The Vikings have to do nothing. The have signed every single player they wanted to and are still under the cap which is very difficult to do when the team does not have a roster full of garbage.

  2. He’s going to get cut, so why trade for him and give up a 6th or 7th round pick unless you REALLY REALLY want him? Why would anyone be that desperate?

  3. My brain is going to explode. I’ll say it again. The Vikings have no reason to get rid of Rudolph. You said it yourself that the team’s best play may be to keep Rudolph. That’s the only thing that makes sense. I’m sure they would love to pay him less but there’s no incentive for Rudolph to take a pay cut so that option is out. Are they going to cut him for spite? They need him!

    The one option you didn’t mention is they could extend him. Oh, was there a report on Friday that talks had broken off? That means nothing. Rudolph said on Monday that talks were still going on. He wants to be there. The Vikings want him. Eventually, the Vikings will either offer him what he considers a fair deal or they’ll keep him for this year and let him be a free agent. They don’t need extra salary cap space right now, and if they do want to sign someone, they can do what they did with Kendricks to get the space they need.

    I can’t believe this narrative that the Vikings have to get rid of Rudolph is still alive.

  4. Why doesn’t Cousins step up and take a reduction in pay?

    It does two things at the same time, it allows some relief in their salary cap and it will reduce the grief that Cousins will have to endure when he chokes again in prime time or against any team with a winning record.

  5. Why trade him for a low round pick?
    Keep him now, let him walk in 2020 and get a 3rd compensatory pick for him

    Only the national media feels MN has to trade him
    They don’t
    They can restructure a couple other contracts, like Waynes & Rhodes, and keep Rudolph one more year

  6. Rudolph is slated to be the 9th highest paid TE in the NFL in 2019. In the first year with a new QB, and two new OC’s, his production was 7th most receptions for TE, 9th for yards, 9th for TD’s (which was a down year for him). Somebody explain to me how he is overpaid and should be traded. I absolutely believe all of his numbers will go up this year with the play action pass game plan being more productive. Every team has to make tough decisions, but Rudolph is correct when he says he doesn’t think he should take a pay cut. And, as always, do not listen to Packer fans. Their TE’s numbers were worse than Rudolph while being the highest paid TE on average per year ($12.6 and $11.6 mil against cap the next two years for Graham).

  7. The Vikings signed everybody they could afford, not everybody they wanted. Their roster has been overrated and underperforming at crunch time for several years, and that’s what they have again. If you want different results, you have to try something different. They can’t afford different.

  8. He’s going to get cut, so why trade for him and give up a 6th or 7th round pick unless you REALLY REALLY want him? Why would anyone be that desperate?
    ———————————————————————————————–
    Because the New England Patriots want him and he won’t clear waivers…some lesser team will grab him 1st…..like the Jets, or Dolphins or Bills.

  9. “the Vikings have done everything but purchase billboard space outside Gillette Stadium advertising the eight-year veteran.”

    Pats currently have a bit over 10 million in cap space per overthecap. Bill seems to like keeping 5 or 6 million in cap space for in season trades and roster moves.

    I don’t see them fitting 7+ million onto the roster for this player. He’s probably worth around 3 mil a year to them. In case you haven’t noticed they appear to be morphing from a TE heavy offense to RB and wideout heavy.

  10. The have signed every single player they wanted to and are still under the cap which is very difficult to do when the team does not have a roster full of garbage.
    ——
    Yet every other team in the NFL has also done it. They’re all garbage?

  11. Keep him until after we win the Super Bowl in Feb 2020. 2 TE sets with Diggs & Thielen and Cook in the backfield. UNSTOPPABLE! SKOL baby!!!
    —–
    All the same guys who brought you 8-8 last year…

  12. This is a no-brainer now. Trade him now for a 6th round pick, roll with an unproven yet talented rookie and don’t utilize his skills; OR Keep him and utilize the 2 TE personnel for a year and After the season they let him walk and then receive the 6th round comp pick. Trading a good player for almost nothing is NEVER the best option.

  13. No, He will play for the Vikings this season. The Vikings will cut under performing Brett Jones and all will be fine. They picked up 3 better linemen than Jones and he now makes to much money.

  14. Purple is for Pansies says:
    May 16, 2019 at 12:11 pm
    That’s assuming that anyone would want to trade a low round pick for what is essentially a mediocre special teams guy
    ____
    Ruldolph does not play special teams waffle. And why the hate on a color?

  15. Viking fans actually thinking they would get a end of 3rd rd compensatory pick for Rudolph after this season. He would have to sign a contract averaging 10+million a year, and at his age, that ain’t happening.

  16. Ya gotta love the cheeseheads opinions sometimes.
    If anyone knows what NOT to do, it’d be them.

  17. No reason whatsoever the young man should take a penny less than his contract says. He’s produced. In fact statistically he’s underpaid. He has all the leverage, unless he just really doesn’t want to play with the injury exposure of a one-year deal.

  18. Frazier28/7 says:
    May 16, 2019 at 1:06 pm
    Ya gotta love the cheeseheads opinions sometimes.
    If anyone knows what NOT to do, it’d be them.

    The QB has won as many Superbowls as Zimmer has play off games.

    Packer fans have seen more success and good players than Vikings have in the recent GENERATIONS.

  19. Amazing hpw some condescending Vikes fans think they know more than anyone else, including their own GM. You CAN’T go into a season w/500k in cap room. You CAN’T just restructure a contract.

  20. jackedupboonie says:
    May 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm
    Viking fans actually thinking they would get a end of 3rd rd compensatory pick for Rudolph after this season. He would have to sign a contract averaging 10+million a year, and at his age, that ain’t happening.
    ///////////////
    I believe one guy predicted a 3rd round pick. And since the compensatory rules are quite complex, and half secret, and there is no way to tell who the Vikings will sign and/or if they lose Rudolph, I’d say that persons guess is every bit a quality post as yours.

  21. tedmurph says:
    May 16, 2019 at 1:14 pm
    Amazing hpw some condescending Vikes fans think they know more than anyone else, including their own GM. You CAN’T go into a season w/500k in cap room. You CAN’T just restructure a contract.
    ////////
    First, your numbers are wrong. Second, your analysis does not mean Rudolph must take a pay cut. The Vikings will make a few moves, whether that involves Rudolph or other players. I believe what most of us are saying is; the Vikings can keep Rudolph at his current salary and Rudolph should not take a pay cut if he does not want to.

  22. Purple is for Pansies says:
    May 16, 2019 at 12:11 pm
    That’s assuming that anyone would want to trade a low round pick for what is essentially a mediocre special teams guy.
    /////////
    Almost all of us can obviously see you’re a moron, but I’d like to hear you explain why you think you’re not.

  23. Maybe the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins can all chip in to pay his salary to keep him from going to NE. Everyone wins on that, except NE.

  24. I thought all Vikings were willing to take less money to stay or sign with the Vikings?

  25. Some how keep him for now and tell everyone your keeping him and trade him to another team that looses a TE early in the season.

  26. cheeseisfattening says:

    May 16, 2019 at 11:52 am

    The Vikings have to do nothing. The have signed every single player they wanted to and are still under the cap which is very difficult to do when the team does not have a roster full of garbage.
    ———
    Well your last half a statement isn’t true. The Vikings are in worse cap situation than most and a quick look at the numbers show the Vikings a little over a million under the cap. Realistically they have to free room up to have money to sign replacements for guys who end up on ir and also to be able to absorb money this year in an extension with a player, although I didn’t see who they have entering the last yr of the deal. Your right though that the Vikings don’t have to do anything when it comes to Rudolph and I don’t think they should but they do have to do something with someone before the season.

  27. If I was Rudy I wouldn’t take less either, he earned the deal and he’s still got the skills. Just because the team drafted a new TE, that doesn’t change anything he’s already accomplished. I’m sure Rudolph would sign a new deal with an extended contract but not simply take a pay cut.

    Just trade Trae Waynes and be done with it already.

  28. The one domino that would force the Vikings to cut Rudolph would be an injury to a starter or significant contributor. With no cap room left, the Vikings will be forced to either redo another player’s contract, or simply cut Rudolph loose. I wish they had taken a trade for him during the draft.

    The reality is Rudolph isn’t worth his contract. I expect he’ll stick with the Vikings unless/until a significant injury happens. I realize they don’t want to cut him, but they’re not going to get anything higher than a day three draft pick for him in a trade.

  29. Purple is for Pansies says:
    May 16, 2019 at 12:11 pm
    That’s assuming that anyone would want to trade a low round pick for what is essentially a mediocre special teams guy
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Jackass!
    He will play for the Vikings this year, If he has a great season, (which on a down year he is better than 23 other TE’s in the league) Spielman will find a way, Minnesota will queese com money for him. Cut Treadwell. That would free up some.

  30. conormacleod says:
    May 16, 2019 at 1:32 pm
    jackedupboonie says:
    May 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm
    Viking fans actually thinking they would get a end of 3rd rd compensatory pick for Rudolph after this season. He would have to sign a contract averaging 10+million a year, and at his age, that ain’t happening.
    ///////////////
    I believe one guy predicted a 3rd round pick. And since the compensatory rules are quite complex, and half secret, and there is no way to tell who the Vikings will sign and/or if they lose Rudolph, I’d say that persons guess is every bit a quality post as yours.
    ———————————————
    There’s your first problem. Not having much of a clue how the compensatory pick process works. Rudolph won’t be a 3rd rd pick no matter who the Vikings do or don’t sign.

  31. @cheeseisfattening says:
    May 16, 2019 at 11:52 am
    The Vikings have to do nothing. The have signed every single player they wanted to and are still under the cap which is very difficult to do when the team does not have a roster full of garbage.
    ====================================================================
    Well….he could’ve been a very useful weapon except QB loves the WRs more and ignored Rudolph.

  32. First, your numbers are wrong. Second, your analysis does not mean Rudolph must take a pay cut. The Vikings will make a few moves, whether that involves Rudolph or other players. I believe what most of us are saying is; the Vikings can keep Rudolph at his current salary and Rudolph should not take a pay cut if he does not want to.
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Vikings fans don’t even know what they don’t know. First, my numbers are correct. The Vikes had 664,266 in cap space on Tuesday. They restructured a contract, with the player’s permission, to free up about 2 mil more. Then they were able to sign their 1rst rnd pk, with a cap hit of 2.3 mil. So, they actually lost a little cap space. Rudolph is not gonna take a pay cut. He already said NO. It’s only a 2 letter word. Not hard to understand. The GM has said they don’t want to/can’t pay him 7.5 mil. Again. not hard to understand. He won’t play for the Vikes this year, IMO.

  33. jackedupboonie says:
    May 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Viking fans actually thinking they would get a end of 3rd rd compensatory pick for Rudolph after this season. He would have to sign a contract averaging 10+million a year, and at his age, that ain’t happening.
    _________

    Rudolph will be 30 when he hits free agency. Jimmy Graham signed a 3-year, $30 million contract at age 31, and Graham flat sucks. Of course, other teams probably wouldn’t be as dumb as the Packers.

  34. tedmurph says:
    May 16, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Amazing hpw some condescending Vikes fans think they know more than anyone else, including their own GM. You CAN’T go into a season w/500k in cap room. You CAN’T just restructure a contract.
    __________

    And yet the Vikings just restructured a contract two days ago. Please explain why they can’t do it again.

  35. The answer to your question is: Kyle Rudolph would pay the Vikings to get out of Minnesota.
    You see, he wants a chance to actually win a Super Bowl and it just isn’t happening in Minnesota.

  36. New England doesn’t seem to be too interested. There are some good reasons for Minne to hang onto Rudolph, as most TEs don’t really deliver much during their first season.

    A couple of points:

    1. Vikings will not land a third round pick if they hang onto Rudolph. I suspect a compensatory fifth round pick is more likely.

    2. Rudolph is a very good pass-catching TE, but he’s pretty useless as a run blocker. That not only limits his value, he can also be a bit of a poker tell on the field.

    3. The Vikings should find a way to increase cap space. That cap room is too small to accommodate picking up a waived player who might strengthen an otherwise weak position.

  37. I don’t see what the big deal is with all this talk about sending him to the Patriots….. they don’t need him nor his bloated salary…… he’s really nothing special in mho…..
    Pats already got the TE Position covered this year & probably next year as well for that matter……
    NOTHING TO SEE HERE…… move along….

  38. Ok, 2 things(I’m getting bored). 1rst, Graham was perceived to be a better TE than Rudolph. Granted, it didn’t work out for the Pack. But, the compensatory was a 4th. No chance Rudolph gets paid 10 mil/yr. His own team doesn’t want to pay 7.5.

    2nd, you need a players permission to restructure. Yes, the player gets more guaranteed money up front, but it’s usually a bad deal. That’s because more money gets pushed towards the end of the contract and they get cut 3 yrs into a 5 yr deal because they become too expensive.

  39. I would be surprised if the Pats were interested. They neutralized Rudolph in last yrs beatdown with no problem. They have 11 mil under the cap, but thats before signing Watson, Inman and JCollins. Probably short money, but still. Looks like they morph into a run 1rst offense with big WRs and a rocking D. Excited to see it.

  40. stellarperformance says:
    May 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm
    The Vikings signed everybody they could afford, not everybody they wanted. Their roster has been overrated and underperforming at crunch time for several years, and that’s what they have again. If you want different results, you have to try something different. They can’t afford different.

    —————————————-
    I can say the one subject stella knows a lot about is teams under performing!

  41. I think the trade will be either Waynes or Rhodes to the Cards for their #1 next year. Probably Rhodes

  42. there is no rush to resolve this. they can wait through the entire preseason to see how it plays out.

    the only way they keep rudolph is by restructuring harrisson smith and linval joseph. not pay cuts. restructuring. push more of their cap hits to next year when they will have more cap space after they cut Reiff and Griffen.

    Or, they can restructure their other contracts recently signed so the cap hit is more for 2020 and beyond. This is when Cousins, Griffen, Smith, Joseph, Rhodes are all likely gone and a ton of money will be available for the cap.

    of course, none of this would be an issue if they hadn’t signed josh kline to that ridiculous contract. ol’ rick needs his cast off offensive linemen!

  43. Rudy just wants a new contract that’s fair to him and the team~Yes he said he would give some on the yearly but based on what I have read it was only if he got a new contract~No one in their right mind would take a pay cut on a 1-year deal~

    And anyone who thought he would take a pay cut on a one-year deal~You got miss lead by the sports media~Yeah who would have thought that was possible~

  44. Irv Smith Jr was just drafted and accomplished nothing in the NFL. Assuming a lot he can duplicate Rudolph’s production in year 1 if ever.

  45. They should extend him if they can or just keep him for just this year. The vikes paid Jared Allen’s and I believe AP’s final year. If they can’t get a deal done, We need depth in the passing game and likely still need help blocking. we need Could see lots of two TE sets.

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