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Vikings’ Kyle Rudolph strongly asserts stand on possible pay cut

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph remains to have the utmost confidence in his abilities despite having a subpar campaign in the 2020 NFL season. He firmly believes that he deserves to not have a pay cut on his current contract which was brought by the ravaging effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Via Unrestricted with Ben Leber podcast:

“With that being said, I think I’m worth every dime of my contract. That doesn’t mean that I’m used to my potential and I’m used to do what I do well, so it will be interesting over the next few months. Like I said, I have three years left on my contract. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’ve somehow become a pretty decent blocker because I’ve been forced to. It certainly wasn’t something that I ever did well at any point of my career. Maybe in high school because I was bigger than everyone else, but even then, I just wanted to run around and catch balls.”

Rudolph previously inked a four-year, $36 million contract with the Vikings back in 2019. According to NFL.com, his cap hit for the 2020 season is listed at $9.45 million. They can save $5.1 million if they will opt to cut Rudolph instead with an extra $4.35 million in dead money.

His contract doesn’t bode well for the Vikings who are reportedly $12.8 million over the projected salary cap in the 2021 season. In addition, his numbers still dwindled down in the 2020 season despite seeing WR1 Stefon Diggs relocate to the Buffalo Bills prior to their campaign.

The 31-year-old finished the 2020 season with 334 receiving yards on 28 receptions and a scored touchdown through 12 games played. His campaign was marred by a nagging foot injury, which in turn, opened up opportunities to sophomore tight end Irv Smith Jr.

With Rudolph missing four games throughout the season, Smith eventually became an occasional target for quarterback Kirk Cousins. He finished his second season in the league with 365 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 30 receptions, which is certainly better than Rudolph’s numbers.

Despite his claims, Kyle Rudolph’s statistics over the past season couldn’t back him up on his desires to not have a pay cut in 2021. He may end up having to take the hit on his contract or even being cut from the Vikings roster. With all the uncertainty, Kyle Rudolph would just have to perform as best as he can and try to remain healthy when he takes the field next season.