Rudolph penned an emotional farewell to Minnesota when he was released, naming several players and quarterbacks in the piece.
But his current quarterback, Kirk Cousins was not one of them — not mentioned at all despite playing three seasons with the veteran quarterback and connecting on a walk-off game-winning touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the 2019 playoffs.
Rudolph addressed his failure to mention Cousins on KFAN’s #92Noon radio show with Paul Allen on June 21, while he also made his plea to be re-signed by the Vikings.
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‘You’re Closer With Some Teammates Than Others’
Speaking with Allen, Rudolph explained his goodbye letter, Dear Minnesota, published by the Players Tribune in March 2021.
I left on good terms with every teammate I had here. I never had a teammate I didn’t like,” Rudolph said. “Certainly, you’re closer with some teammates than others. A lot has been brought up about my letter, and not mentioning Kirk in it, but I mentioned Teddy (Bridgewater) and Sam (Bradford). Well, those are guys that I was extremely, extremely close with.”
Rudolph’s letter wasn’t the only team he seemingly ghosted Cousins.
In an interview with WFAN Sports Radio, Rudolph was prompted to assess Giants quarterback Daniel Jones compared to the QBs he’s played with in his career, calling Jones the most talented quarterback he’s ever played with. He also said a “healthy Sam Bradford” was the best he’s ever played with, and again, failed to mention Cousins.
But despite his recent disregard of Cousins, Rudolph added on KFAN that he has no hard feelings and built up Cousins, who he said is a playoff run away from being considered an upper-echelon QB in the league.
I have no ill will or hard feelings. Kirk is a phenomenal quarterback he’s been unbelievably successful,” Rudolph said. “He’s knocking on that door and I know a deep playoff run and a championship would certainly put him put him right up there with everybody else in this league. There’s definitely no ill will there between him and I.”
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Rudolph’s Hope to Re-Sign With Vikings
Splitting time between New Jersey and Minnesota last season, Rudolph and his family returned home to Minnesota after the 2021 NFL season.
Asked by Allen whether he’d like to stay in Minnesota full time by re-joining the Vikings, Rudolph didn’t hesitate.
Absolutely,” Rudolph said. “I said it when I left here, ‘that Minnesota’s always home.’ It’s kind of been brought to my attention more when we came back from New Jersey after last season. Whether it’s at the grocery store in Wayzata or at a Timberwolves game… [or] WWE Smackdown this Friday. ‘Come Home Kyle’ chants erupted in the middle of one of the matches.
“Being around town after being gone and the amount of people saying, ‘we wished you were still here…’ just the amount of love myself and my family have gotten from people around the state it’s really opened our eyes to how admired we are by Vikings fans and how much love they’ve showed us for the last decade of our lives here.”
Rudolph has turned down opportunities this offseason to spend more time with his family but has been training in Minnesota in hopes of making another run at a Super Bowl.
“Certainly for me, there’s still one thing left to do here and that’s win a championship in Minnesota,” Rudolph said. “Obviously, I would love to have another opportunity to get a crack at it. I talked about being calculated in my next decision. I’ve never won a Super Bowl. I’d love to hoist a Lombardi at some point in my career. I do believe this Vikings team has a chance to do that, and certainly, I would be open to that.”