Kyle Rudolph’s “four-year, $36 million” extension is short on details, for now

Mike Florio

The news came in the form of a tweet from the player, one that initially didn’t make it clear that he’d signed a new contract to remain in Minnesota. Then came multiple reports that tight end Kyle Rudolph signed a four-year, $36 million extension.

Then came nothing more. No information about guarantees or signing bonus or cash flow or anything that would shed light on the real value of the deal and (more importantly for the Vikings) the amount of cap space it creates in 2019.

With Rudolph already due to make $7.25 million in 2019, the last year of his prior deal, it’s a five-year, $43.25 million contract. That’s an average of $8.65 million per year at signing, but it still doesn’t shed light on structure, which in turn makes it impossible to assess whether it’s, as a practical matter, a one-year deal, a two-year deal, or a three-year deal.

Typically, agents crow when they can. When they don’t crow, the implication becomes that there’s nothing about which to crow. One way or the other, the details of Rudolph’s deal will emerge — typically after attention of the media has turned to other things.

For now, it’s fair to wonder what kind of commitment the Vikings actually made to Rudolph, especially since they’ve already drafted his potential replacement, in 2019 second-rounder Irv Smith.