Tuesday, July 7, 2015

kyle rudolph

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Last week we talked all about defense, so you can guess where we’re headed this week …

Which Offensive Player will Have the Most Standout Season for the Vikings in 2015?

Lindsey: Teddy Bridgewater
From Day 1, I’ve been a Bridgewater believer. I was pumped when we drafted him, and last season just affirmed his potential. Bridgewater got thrown into the fire last year when Cassel got injured, and the AP fiasco didn’t make things any easier. However, the QB still finished with incredibly solid numbers for a rookie: 2,919 passing yards, a 64.4 percent completion rate and only three fumbles. Bridgewater has a quiet confidence about him, and he’s not easily rattled. He grew his confidence in a rocky 2014 situation, and I expect him to come out ready to rock for 2015.

Andy: Kyle Rudolph
People always talk about how Norv’s offense being so “tight end friendly.” If Rudy can stay healthy for a full season, I think he and Teddy will do some good things together and he’ll make his extension look like a bargain. A lot of variables, but we all believe Rudolph has the ability to be a top-five tight end in the league. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. Plus, we know Teddy loves his tight ends. #Reisner

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There has been a lot of talk around receivers for the Vikings, especially since the release of Greg Jennings and signing of Mike Wallace. It seems appropriate, then, for Round 3 of Question of the Week:

Who Will Lead the Vikings in Receiving (Catches, Yards & TDs) this Year?

Brent:  Catches: Charles Johnson | Yards: Mike Wallace | TDs: Kyle Rudolph
I think Johnson will continue to be Teddy’s favorite target, mainly because he’ll thrive in the mid-range routes—where Teddy is awesome. Wallace will rack up a lot of yards via deep passes, but he won’t prove to be a significant red zone target. Rudolph’s size and consistent hands will make him a favorite for touchdowns within striking distance. The TE will be used more heavily than last year—as it has in years past in Norv’s offense.


Carl: 
Catches: Charles Johnson | Yards: Mike Wallace | TDs: Mike Wallace
Johnson’s 15.3 yards per catch on 31 receptions in 2014 was impressive to say the least, but Wallace shouldn’t have any problem racking up yards in Turner’s vertical offense. My guess is the targets will be balanced between multiple players, but yardage will be owned by Wallace especially if Adrian comes with a chip on his shoulder.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Mike Zimmer is a no-nonsense, football-first head coach. When Zimmer took over a sinking ship for the Vikings in 2014, he inherited a young team coming off a 5-10-1 record the previous year. Things changed quickly, as players bought into Zimmer’s mentality and rookies like Teddy Bridgewater and Anthony Barr performed well in key moments.

Early Thursday morning, Zimmer addressed the media at the NFL Scouting Combine, elaborating on his debut 7-9 season and looking ahead to 2015.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[Note:  This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period.  This is the fourth article, focusing on the tight ends.  In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterback preview hererunning backs are here, and the fullbacks are here.]

In theory, the Vikings have their tight end depth chart pretty much set.  They have the powerful veteran in Kyle Rudolph, the semi-proven backup in Chase Ford, and the journeyman blocker in Rhett Ellison.  They also have some camp fodder in Ryan Otten.

Rudolph just signed a huge deal that runs through 2018 and is highly unlikely to go anywhere.  Ford is entering a contract year, but is inexpensive and likely to be a restricted free agent in 2016, so there is no real reason to actively oust him from the Vikings roster.

Ellison is also fairly cheap, with a 2015 cap hit of $735,146, and appears like a guy the Vikings want to lock up for the long-term.  While unspectacular within the offense, Ellison is a great blocking tight end and solid special teams player.

The Vikings seem highly unlikely to spend heavily on the tight end position this offseason, with actual value more likely to be found in the Draft for a talent worth bringing aboard, but let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.

According to Jay Glazer, tight end Kyle Rudolph and the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a 5-year extension.

Many expected the Vikings to extend Kyle Rudolph but questioned whether it would happen before the season or after. Once more details of the deal are available, we can analyze this move further. As of right now, it looks as though the Vikings have secured one of their best offensive playmakers for years to come. We will keep you updated with additional information as soon as we have it. Congratulations, Kyle!

Update: Well, that was quick. Jay Glazer is now reporting that the deal is 36.5 million / 5 years.

2nd Update: The Vikings have officially announced the contract extension of Kyle Rudolph. The deal is for 5 years and up to 40 million. The base salary is $37.46 million with $19.4 million guaranteed and a $6.5 million signing bonus.

Rudolph’s new deal puts him right with guys like Jason Witten, Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates financially. According to Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network, this makes Rudolph the 5th-highest paid tight end in the NFL.

“I’m extremely excited to get this extension completed and continue my career with the Minnesota Vikings,” said Rudolph. “I’ve said all along that I wanted to stay in Minnesota. 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.”

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