Kyle Rudolph says he’s ‘too young’ to take a pay cut

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Kyle Rudolph /

The veteran Minnesota Vikings tight end believes he still has too much of a career left in the NFL to take less money in 2019.

Kyle Rudolph’s status with the Minnesota Vikings for 2019 has been a hot topic of discussion this offseason. Rudolph has been included in trade rumors, he and the team were reportedly in extension talks until recently, and the Vikings drafted his eventual replacement in Irv Smith Jr. this year.

So far though, Rudolph is still a member of Minnesota’s current roster. However, it still wouldn’t be a surprise if the Vikings dealt the tight end before the start of the upcoming season.

Recently, Rudolph spoke to the Star Tribune’s Sid Hartman about everything that has been going on this year. The tight end was quick to shoot down any chance of him taking a pay cut this season when he was asked about the possibility.

"“No I won’t, I am too young for that.”"

Rudolph also commented that there is, “no way,” he would take less money to stay with the Vikings for 2019.

It’s great that he’s confident, but the veteran tight end has to also know his worth at this point in his career. Rudolph (who will turn 30 in November) is already due to make more money in 2019 than guys like Greg Olsen, Delanie Walker, and Zach Ertz, who have all been more productive than the Minnesota tight end during their time in the NFL.

Since 2015, Rudolph’s receiving yards per game ranks 18th in the league among tight ends. That’s not a very good amount for someone who believes he should be paid like one of the best at his position.

This isn’t to say that Rudolph is not a solid tight end, because he is. But solid is really all that he is and nothing more. Rudolph’s experience and leadership are currently more valuable to the Vikings than his actual talent.

The writing is already on the wall that his time in Minnesota could be ending sooner than later, especially after the team’s decision to select Smith Jr. in this year’s draft.

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He may not end up taking a pay cut for the upcoming season. But if Rudolph wants to stay with the Vikings past 2019, he is going to have to come to terms with the fact that he’s really not worth as much as he believes.