The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph have agreed to a five-year contract extension, the team announced Sunday night. The extension is worth about $36.5 million over the five years, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday, making Rudolph the fifth-highest paid NFL tight end by average annual salary.
“I’m extremely excited to get this extension completed and continue my career with the Minnesota Vikings. I’ve said all along I wanted to stay in Minnesota," Rudolph said in a statement released by the team. "I love the fans, the community and, most importantly, I’m excited about where this team is going. I’m looking forward to the 2014 season and helping this organization reach our ultimate goal."
Rudolph has been a key cog in a Vikings offense that has struggled to fully break out since his selection in 2011, largely due to poor play from the Vikings' recent history of quarterbacks. With Rudolph, wide receivers Greg Jennings and 23-year-old Cordarrelle Patterson, and the star Adrian Peterson, new rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater figures to have plenty of offensive weapons with whom to work.
Rudolph enjoyed a Pro Bowl season in 2012, catching 53 passes for 493 yards and nine touchdowns. He missed half of last season while battling injuries, still catching 30 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns.