The Vikings are currently locked in a contract dispute with veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph, a dispute that reportedly has caught the Patriots’ attention, Andrew Callahan of Masslive reports.
According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, New England has “talked with Minnesota about Kyle Rudolph,” amid its series of free-agent signings at the tight end position. The 29-year-old Rudolph is due $7.6 million this season from the cash-strapped Vikings. Minnesota drafted a tight end, Alabama’s Irv Smith, in the second round of this year’s draft.
The two sides were reportedly in extension talks until two weeks ago, at which point the possibility of trading him reopened. Rudolph, who intends to be present for the start of the Vikings’ OTAs on Tuesday, said he doesn’t want to be dealt. However, he also told reporters he’s “too young” to take a pay cut.
Rudolph caught 64 passes for 634 yards and four touchdowns last season. He’s earned two Pro Bowl nods — in 2012 and 2017 — over his eight-year career. His best statistical season was an 83-catch, 840-yard and seven-touchdown campaign in 2016.