The Minnesota Vikings have been exploring ways to keep tight end Kyle Rudolph after they drafted former Alabama star Irv Smith Jr in the second round, but the two sides could ultimately be headed for a divorce.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Rudolph and the Vikings had been engaging in contract talks recently, but those negotiations fell apart on Friday. It remains a possibility that Rudolph could be traded.
The #Vikings had held active extension talks with veteran TE Kyle Rudolph, but those broke off this morning, sources say. With Minnesota drafting TE Irv Smith and Rudolph due $7.5M, this development could lead to a trade elsewhere. There is interest around the NFL.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 10, 2019
The Vikings likely envision Smith being a big part of their offense, and Rudolph is due to count $7.625 million against the salary cap in 2019. His extension talks with the team likely had to do with trying to lower that number, but the 29-year-old may feel he would be more valued elsewhere.
Rudolph has spent his entire eight-year career with the Vikings and appeared in all 16 games in each of the past four seasons. He caught 64 passes on 82 targets for 634 yards and four touchdowns, so the production was decent in his first season playing with Kirk Cousins. The Vikings reportedly had discussions about trading him before and during the draft.