Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Kyle Rudolph talks about signing new Vikings deal

Posted by: Matt Vensel under Vikings, Adrian Peterson Updated: July 28, 2014 - 1:14 PM

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who signed a five-year extension with the team, just took a quick shower while we talked to Adrian Peterson after the morning walkthrough -- no word on whether he dried himself off with crisp new $100 bills -- then met us to talk about his new deal.

“It’s a dream true, to walk off the practice field and have Rick [Spielman call me over] and give me a big hug and say, ‘Congratulations. You earned it. We’re extremely happy to have you here for the next six years.’” Rudolph said. “Right there I couldn’t thank him enough. Publicly, I can’t thank him, the Wilf family, everyone involved to keep me here for the next six years.”

Rudolph said that negotiations with the Vikings started to pick up a couple of weeks ago. His agent, Brian Murphy, flew into the Twin Cities the day of the MLB All-Star Game and over the next two days started to build the framework of the deal with Spielman and cap guru Rob Brzezinski. Last night, after practice, Rudolph put pen to paper to make the deal official.

Now, Rudolph, a 24-year-old who was the Pro Bowl MVP in 2012, has to live up to it.

“No one is going to motivate me more than I motivate myself,” he said. “No one is going to have higher expectations than I have of myself. And that’s to be the best. I’m going to continue to go out there every day, work the way that I do to become the best tight end in this league.”

So is Rudolph going to treat himself to something nice? His first purchase will not be a new house or truck. He’s fine with the ones he’s got. No, he is going to keep a promise to his high school strength coach by helping to put in a new weight room at Elder High in Cincinnati. Pretty cool.

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