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Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings sign 5-year contract

The Minnesota Vikings have locked up one of their top playmakers. 

The team and Kyle Rudolph signed a five-year contract extension worth $36.5 million, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday, per a source who has seen the deal. Fox Sports first reported the news and the team later confirmed the signing.

The tight end nabs an average of $7.3 million per year in new money (fifth highest at his position), and can earn up to $40 million total. Rudolph receives $19.4 million in guaranteed money (third highest).

"I'm extremely excited to get this extension completed and continue my career with the Minnesota Vikings," Rudolph said. "I've said all along I wanted to stay in Minnesota. I love the fans, the community and, most importantly, I'm excited about where this team is going."

Since being drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the pass-catching tight end has toiled with subpar QB play but has still impressed. He put up 53 catches for 493 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012, a Pro Bowl season. He failed to follow up his impressive season in 2013, though, missing half the year with a fractured left foot. 

With the selection of Teddy Bridgewater, there's hope for the 6-foot-6, 259-pounder to enjoy some quality QB play. Add in a dynamic player ready to break out (Cordarrelle Patterson), and Rudolph is primed for big things in Norv Turner's offense.

The Vikings now have a plethora of young talent at the skill positions locked up for the forseeable future, a fact that should please their generational running back. 

The latest "Around The League Podcast" offers up team-by-team training camp previews of the NFC East and NFC West.

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