In an appearance on the “Unreservedly with Ben Leber” podcast, Rudolph expressed displeasure over his role on the Vikings’ offensive over the past two seasons after moving from Minnesota’s second or third leading recipient to an afterthought in the passing game in 2015-2018 Year 2020.
Minnesota is projected to be $ 12.8 million above cap ahead of the new league year and would gain $ 5.1 million cap if Rudolph were released this off-season (which equates to $ 4.35 million in dead money ). The Vikings could also restructure Rudolph’s current deal with three years left to cut his 2021 cap from $ 9.45 million to almost half.
It wouldn’t be the first time the Vikings approached the double Pro Bowl end with a proposal to reorganize. In June 2019, Rudolph revised his contract to a four-year extension, two months after Minnesota used a second-round pick to hit a close end Irv Smith Jr. from Alabama. Last season, Smith took third place with the Vikings in receiving and touching down (365 yards, five TDs).
Rudolph said he wasn’t sure how Minnesota’s front office would handle his situation before the free act, but he was a firm believer that he should pay for all of what his contract entails.
“Of course I’m realistic. I see both sides,” said Rudolph. “I would be [team owners] the Wilfs if I were [general manager] Rick [Spielman]I look at this situation like this, “Hey, we pay this guy a lot of money and you don’t use him. Why do we keep paying him a lot?”
“With that said, I think I’m worth every penny of my contract. That doesn’t mean I’m used to my potential and used to doing what I’m doing well over the next few months, I’ll have how Said, three years left on my contract. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’ve kind of become a pretty decent blocker because I was forced to. It certainly wasn’t anything I’ve done well at any point in my career. Maybe in that High school because I was bigger than everyone else, but even then I just wanted to run around and catch balls. “
“At the beginning of last season the writing was on the wall,” continued Rudolph. “I saw where our offense was leading. I had seven or eight catches in the first six games. It was just absurd. I literally blocked the whole time.”
Rudolph scored 28 passes across 35 goals in 2020, his lowest performance since the 2014 season. He scored 334 yards and a touchdown, the latter being a career low for the former second round hit.
Rudolph was asked to block 43 snaps last season compared to the 68 pass-blocking snaps he played in 2019. The veteran’s tight end revealed on the podcast the reason for his late-season injured reserve designation that forced him to miss week 13 through 17: a Lisfranc sprain in his foot.
When asked what he would do if the Vikings came to him with a restructuring proposal that would keep him in the same role he played on the offensive, Rudolph made it clear that he would not agree to a reduced salary for 2021 . He is expected to create a base salary of $ 7.65 million over the next season.
“It wouldn’t happen,” he said. “You can only play this game for so many years and I feel like I still have a lot of good football. Now fast forward, I played those three years on my contract and I’m 33, 34 now and they say:” Hey, we want to keep you on a much lower level for a couple of years, but we want you to do X, Y and Z to help these young people. “- get in touch with me.
“But like I said, at 31, how I feel physically, knowing what else I can do … it’s just a lack of opportunity. In the past, I’ve been the one who got red zone goals . I can’t sign. ” ready for it again. “