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Vikings sign TE Kyle Rudolph to five-year, $36.5 million extension

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Kyle Rudolph has a new deal in Minnesota. (USATSI)
Kyle Rudolph has a new deal in Minnesota. (USATSI)

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Kyle Rudolph said in December that he wanted to be a "Minnesota Viking for life." On Sunday night, the tight end took one step closer to making that happen. The Vikings announced that Rudolph has signed a five-year extension with the team.

According to FoxSports.com, the five-year deal will pay Rudolph $36.5 million. ProFootballTalk added that the deal basically includes $19.456 million in guaranteed money.

The 24-year-old will get a signing bonus of $6.5 million, along with a base salary of $956,343 in 2014. The rest of guarantee comes in the form a $12 million injury-only guarantee which Rudolph will get if he's on the Vikings roster on the third day of the league year.

Rudolph can also earn another $3.5 million in bonuses, which could potentially bring the total value of the contract to $40 million.

"I'm extremely excited to get this extension completed and continue my career with the Minnesota Vikings. I've said all along I wanted to stay in Minnesota," Rudolph said. "I love the fans, the community and, most importantly, I'm excited about where this team is going. I'm looking forward to the 2014 season and helping this organization reach our ultimate goal."

The Vikings tight end led the team with nine touchdown catches 2012, a total that led to Rudolph earning the first and currenly only Pro Bowl appearance of his three-year career.

The 2011 second-round pick out of Notre Dame has caught 109 passes for 1,055 yards and 15 touchdowns in his three seasons with Minnesota.

Rudolph finished tied third on the team in touchdown catches in 2013 (3), despite the fact that he missed eight games because of a fractured left foot.

The $7.3 million average of the new money in Rudolph's deal makes him the fifth-highest paid tight end in the league behind only Jimmy Graham ($10 million), Rob Gronkowski ($9 million), Jason Witten ($7.4 million), and Vernon Davis ($7.35 million).

Rudolph could have a big season under new Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Tight ends have thrived in offenses run by Turner. The 62-year-old's last three coaching stops have included stints with Davis in San Francisco, Antonio Gates in San Diego and Jordan Cameron in Cleveland.

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