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Kyle Rudolph says Vikings offered five-year extension

The Minnesota Vikings are attempting to keep Kyle Rudolph around for the long-haul.

The tight end confirmed a report that the Vikings offered him a five-year contract extension recently and his agent and the team are working through the situation, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Rudolph reportedly sounded optimistic a deal could get done before training camp.

Rudolph's situation has hung over the Vikings since before the team selected Irv Smith in the second round of the draft. Rudolph is currently slated to make $7.5 million in 2019 and previously said he doesn't plan to take a pay cut.

The cap-strapped Vikings have been looking to create more room under the salary cap. An extension would alleviate the situation in the short term and keep Rudolph in Minnesota for the foreseeable future. That the 29-year-old has not agreed to the deal presented, despite saying he wants to remain a Viking, suggests the format of the offer favors the team in the long run.

A contract extension that reduces the current cap number and keeps Rudolph in Minnesota to help tutor Smith at one of the most difficult positions for a rookie to pick up is an ideal situation for both sides.

With Rudolph joining teammates for OTAs, it seems steps are at least being made toward that possible extension.

Coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday he's optimistic the tight end would be part of his team in 2019.

"Because both sides are working towards it and he's under contract," a matter-of-fact Zimmer replied when asked why he was optimistic.

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