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Contract Extension Keeps Rudolph In Minnesota
Kyle Rudolph's new contract extension provided the cap-strapped Vikings some relief. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the deal clears about $4 million in 2019 cap space for the Vikings.

The Vikes had just over $1 million in cap space before the Rudolph deal provided some short-term relief.

Rudolph's new deal is worth $36 million over four years, which could keep him in Minnesota through the 2023 season, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Rudolph gets $1.625 million additional this year added to his $7.625 million base salary, which includes $9 million fully guaranteed in all and $16.025 million in total guarantees (including injury guarantees).

The breakdown illustrates that after 2019, it's back to a year-to-year proposition with Rudolph -- as it was prior to the extension. Indeed, Rudolph's situation had been tenuous for weeks given the team's salary cap situation, his cap hit, and the team drafting Irv Smith in the second round.

The veteran tight end wouldn't take a pay cut to stay, and sides were going back and forth on an extension before Monday night's deal came to fruition. Throughout the process, Rudolph has said he wanted to remain in Minnesota if the deal was right. The four-year extension worth $9 million per year, which is on par with the top TEs, if it's seen through, did the trick.

A playoff contender, the Vikings wanted to find a way to keep Rudolph for at least 2019 as Smith makes the difficult transition from college to the pros, while creating cap space. Cutting the veteran was a result they hoped to avoid. The four-year extension seems to have satisfied everyone for at least one season.

So what do we make of the situation from a fantasy perspective?

At Alabama Smith was a featured weapon in 2018, catching 44 passes for 16.1 yards per catch with seven scores in 15 games. The big-bodied weapon has big hands, solid speed and good enough strength. The Vikings haven't had an athletic complement to Rudolph until now. Between Smith and Rudolph, the two tight ends present different styles. While Smith gives the Vikings a speedy target over the middle of the field and has great run-after-the-catch ability, Rudolph is a dependable threat (notably in the red zone) who has churned out consistent production over the course of his eight years in Minnesota and can be relied on for in-line blocking in the run game.

With the Vikings' revamped scheme, this offense has plenty of room to utilize more than one tight end on a regular basis and recent workout in which Smith was lined up in a variety of spots suggests they will figure out a way to get both on the field.