Kyle Rudolph: 'There's a way' to stay with Vikings


All is quiet on the Kyle Rudolph contract negotiations front, but the Minnesota Vikings tight end continues to make his intentions loud and clear.

In an interview with NFL Network's Scott Hanson on Total Access on Wednesday, Rudolph said that he is optimistic that a deal can be reached between his team and the Vikings to ensure his future in Minnesota.

"They want me in Minnesota. I want to be in Minneosta," Rudolph told Hanson. "Unfortunately, the business side of things gets int he way. That's a testament to the rest of the team. We have a lot of good football players on our team. You can't pay everyone. You can't keep everyone.

"As of right now, we still think there's a way. I said last week after OTAs that my agent and the Vikings are working extremely hard to find a creative way to make these things happen."

The cap-strapped Vikes want Rudolph to take a pay cut from his $7.6 million salary in 2019, the last season of a five-year deal signed with the team who drafted him in 2011. The 29-year-old Rudolph said previously that he's too young to take a pay cut. Minnesota has explored trading Rudolph, but the tight end has insisted time and time again he wants to stay in purple and gold.

"Yeah, no question," Rudolph said. "Throughout all of this, that's been the easiest thing. We want to be in Minnesota. We want to make sure we exhaust every possible option to make sure that we stay in Minnesota.

"With that being said, the Vikings feel the same way. They want to keep me in Minnesota. They want me to finish my career in Minnesota. So we're both on the same side of things. It's just a matter of finding a way to get it done within the salary cap."

Factoring into the speculation regarding Rudolph's future in Minnesota is the presence of rookie tight end Irv Smith, whom the Vikings drafted in the second round as they did Rudolph eight years ago.

But the veteran imagines a fruitful coexistence with the rookie.

"We've never really had a second tight end in this offense. We've run a lot of three-wide receiver sets with myself out there on the field," Rudolph said. "Now we'll be able to add that element of a second tight end, and that will make us more difficult to defend."

Rudolph has been in attendance during Minnesota's voluntary OTAs. The Vikings' three-day mandatory minicamp begins on June 11.