Kyle Rudolph and the Minnesota Vikings could be facing an ugly break up. Rudolph is still talking about the Vikings as if he is excited in the direction they are headed, but he is not willing to take a pay cut.
Rudolph said this week that he is “really excited” about the direction of Minnesota’s offense under offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski and assistant coach Gary Kubiak. The problem is Rudolph might not be there to experience it.
The Vikings don’t want to pay Rudolph the $7.6 million he is owed in 2019, the veteran insists there is “no way” he would take a pay cut.
“No I won’t, I am too young for that,” Rudolph said, per Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune.
In his entire eight-year career with the Vikings he appeared in all 16 games in each of the past four seasons, and caught 64 passes on 82 targets for 634 yards and four touchdowns. He has value, but what teams could use him?
Here are three teams I could see trading for Rudolph, and not flinching at paying that price tag.
Houston Texans – The Houston Texans currently have five receivers on their roster, and they could use a big target tight end. They also have 35 million dollars in cap space. Rudolph makes a ton of sense to the Texans, and I could see them willing to pay the price to land him and help out a young quarterback in Deshaun Watson.
Cleveland Browns – Yep, I am dead serious this team wants to win and right now Seth DeValve is good as a #2 tight end, but Rudolph is way better. Add Rudolph with Njoku and you have a hell of an inside passing game for Baker Mayfield. The Browns are going to talk to every team about a deal, and they should. Browns have 32 million and they are not finished, they would take a vet like Rudolph quick.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Nick Foles likes his tight ends, and the Jaguars have NONE that are any good. They did draft Josh Oliver, but he is a rookie, so the best idea is to get a player he can learn and work with. Rudolph makes a ton of sense.
I did not list the Patriots, because they just signed Ben Watson. I think they are done especially when you look at their salary cap situation.