Kyle Rudolph won't take pay cut: 'Too young for that'

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The Minnesota Vikings adjusted the contract of linebacker Eric Kendricks in order to free up cap space to sign first-round pick Garrett Bradbury earlier this week.

Some thought cutting, trading, or adjusting the contract of tight end Kyle Rudolph might be how the cap-strapped Vikes create space. While questions about Rudolph's future in Minnesota linger, the veteran tight end made it clear he's not interested in any sort of pay cut or team-friendly deal.

Rudolph told legendary reporter Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune there was "no way" he'd take less to stay with the Vikings.

"No I won't, I am too young for that," Rudolph added.

The 29-year-old's place on the roster came into question even before the Vikings added rookie pass-catching tight end Irv Smith in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Since then, Rudolph's future has become even more precarious.

Rudolph is currently slated to make $7.5 million in 2019. Sides have discussed a possible extension that could keep the tight end in Minnesota while lowering his cap hit this season.

"They're working really hard to get it done, and I hope it gets done," he said of a possible extension.

The possibility of a trade looms, if the Vikings are willing to part with a proven veteran in favor of a rookie at a position notoriously difficult for first-year players to transition from college to pros. Rudolph believes teams might try to trade for him but doesn't think the Vikings front office wants to move on.

"I do, but I don't think they want to," he said. "I don't think anyone wants to. We want it to end right with me being here."

The Vikings could figure out other ways to maneuver their salary cap to keep the veteran for another year before allowing him to leave in free agency next offseason. For a win-now team, handing the tight end gig in Gary Kubiak's offense to a rookie would be a tricky proposition.

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