Should the Minnesota Vikings keep Kyle Rudolph around in 2019?

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph /
2 of 4
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 23: Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings scores a touch down in front of Glover Quin #27 of the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter at Ford Field on December 23, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph /

The case for keeping Rudolph in 2019

The 29-year-old Rudolph has been one of the most effective weapons for the Vikings during his career. Rudolph’s 41 career touchdowns in Minnesota are the fifth-most in franchise history behind Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Anthony Carter, and Sammy White.

In addition to Rudolph’s lengthy career with the Vikings, he’s also two years removed from his career-best season in 2016. That year, Minnesota peppered him with 132 targets which resulted in career-highs in receptions (83) and receiving yards (840) to go with seven touchdowns.

That success hasn’t been duplicated in the past two seasons (more on this in a bit), but there are other numbers that suggest that Rudolph is close to playing at the same level.

Last season, Rudolph posted the highest catch rate of his career by catching 78 percent of his targets. That number blew his previous career high (70.6 percent in 2014) out of the water and it wasn’t far off from his 70.4 percent catch rate in 2016.

There’s also the matter that Kirk Cousins loves throwing to Rudolph. As a quarterback that needs his surroundings to be as perfect as possible to succeed, removing a guy that he compared to throwing into a mattress, doesn’t seem to be a great idea. Besides, a happy $84 million dollar quarterback is an effective $84 million quarterback.