MINNEAPOLIS -- After months of uncertainty about the status of his contract for the upcoming season, veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph gained some clarity on Monday evening.
Rudolph agreed to a contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings and will sign his new deal Tuesday morning, the same day the Vikings begin their three-day, mandatory minicamp.
Terms weren't disclosed, but Rudolph's new deal is worth $36 million over four years, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter, which could keep Rudolph in Minnesota through the 2023 season.
Rudolph relayed the news with a message on Twitter. He reflected on the major events in his life since the Vikings drafted him 43rd overall in 2011: He got married, had three children and has been an active member in the Twin Cities community through his philanthropic work, which includes the establishment of Kyle Rudolph's End Zone at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.
"It was extremely important to my wife, Jordan, and me," Rudolph said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday. "Quite frankly, our only objective in this was to stay here in Minnesota. This is home for us. We want to stay here. We know how important it is to this fan base and the state of Minnesota to bring that first championship here, and now my sole focus is on that -- just playing my roles on this team to the best of my ability and going out and trying to lead this team to a championship."
"I feel like now I can just go focus on football. Throughout this whole process, I trusted my agents, I trusted the Minnesota Vikings," Rudolph later added. "Now I have the opportunity to just go out and focus on football and do what I've done my entire life."
Rudolph's new deal is expected to lower his cap hit of $7.625 million, which would help the Vikings with their current salary-cap situation. Minnesota, according to data in ESPN's roster-management system, had less than $1.3 million in cap space before negotiating the terms of Rudolph's new deal.
Earlier this spring, the Vikings drafted Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. with the 50th overall pick. Throughout the offseason program, coaches have relayed the importance of the roles both tight ends will play in Minnesota's offense. Rudolph has said the regular use of multiple-tight-end sets will benefit the Vikings in 2019.
"It's exciting," Rudolph said. "It's something, an element that we've never had here in my nine years being here. It forces defenses to play with three linebackers, and that allows us to control the game, when we go out there in three-wide sets. People always talk about creating mismatches -- well, now they have five DBs on the field, and yeah, there's still mismatches, there's size mismatches, but now we can kind of control and do things how we want to do them."