Kyle Rudolph‘s wife had already enrolled their kids in schools in Minnesota for next year. But Rudolph wasn’t always sure he was going to be around to help with car pool.
The Vikings tight end admitted the uncertainty about whether or when his recent contract extension was coming made for a difficult and unusual offseason.
“I think, for the first time in my career, there really wasn’t certainty in an offseason,” Rudolph said, via Albert Breer of SI.com. “Every year to this point, I knew what was going to happen, where I was going to be. Obviously, everyone knew our cash situation, our cap situation. So there were times that they couldn’t figure something out, where I thought, ‘Obviously, I’m the easy guy to move.’ Now, the more I got familiar with our situation and talking to [G.M.] Rick [Spielman] and to the Vikings, they made it very clear early on that that wasn’t something that they wanted to do. So I talked about it a few times through the process. That it made it easier on me to—it’s cliche to say, but—just focus on football.”
The extension was good for both sides, in that it created some short-term cap space for the Vikings at a time they needed it. But it also kept one of their most consistent performers around.
The process wasn’t without its ups and downs, but Rudolph said he put his trust in his agents and the Vikings front office, and that was rewarded.
“They told me that it was important for me to stay here and we told them that it was important to us to stay here,” he said. “And at that point, I could leave it at that. I could focus on football. I could worry about offseason workouts, OTAs, being at minicamp today, and I think the biggest thing is, a lot of time in our business, in the sport of football, the business side sucks. And you know a lot of people are hurt by the business side.
“And I think for me personally I feel extremely blessed and fortunate.”
And unlike other points this offseason, he feels confident he’ll be around to see his kids after school.