On Monday, it was reported that the New England Patriots previously were in contact with the Minnesota Vikings about potentially acquiring Kyle Rudolph. The tight end was believed to be on the trade block after contract negotiations between him and the team were reportedly cut off earlier this month. Alas, it now looks like the Patriots acquiring the veteran will not be in the cards anytime soon.
According Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Rudolph and the Vikings have resumed talks about a potential new deal: the team has offered the 29-year-old a five-year contract extension. A follow-up report by the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling, added that Rudolph “sounded optimistic something would get done” between the two parties. This would effectively end any trade speculation.
The veteran, of course, would have been an intriguing target for a Patriots team that is facing plenty of questions at the tight end position following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski. With neither him nor 2018 squad members Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister a part of the equation anymore, the team is looking at a competition between Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Benjamin Watson, Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo, Stephen Anderson and Andrew Beck.
However, acquiring Rudolph would have been difficult in the first place. Not because of his value in a potential trade, but due to his contract: Rudolph, in the final year of his deal, is scheduled to make $7.63 million this year. The Patriots, on the other hand, are currently only $5.89 million under the salary cap (according to the Boston Sports Journal’s Miguel Benzan) and would have needed to significantly lower Rudolph’s cap impact for the 2019 season.
The idea of bringing Rudolph on board as another piece of the still unclear tight end puzzle would certainly have been enticing from New England’s perspective. Ultimately, however, the financial circumstances made such a scenario difficult to begin with. Yesterday’s news about a long-term extension between Minnesota and the former Pro Bowler being on the horizon now effectively end all speculation.