Former Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph is currently without an NFL home, but the latest NFL rumors suggest that this won’t be the case for long. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport took to the airwaves on Tuesday, telling the world that there was “serious interest” in the tight end and that he should be signed to a new deal sooner rather than later.
NFL Rumors: Kyle Rudolph Drawing “Serious Interest” From Multiple Teams
Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are easily the best free agent tight ends set to hit the market, but there is a very real chance that both players receive the franchise tag. If that happens, there is a case to be made that Rudolph is the best tight end on the market. Considering the league wide lack of talent at the position, this means that Rudolph will probably have a starting role at this time next season.
The most likely candidate for Rudolph’s services is the New England Patriots. Life without Rob Gronkowski has not gone well for the Foxboro faithful, as New England’s tight ends have been arguably the worst in the league over the past two seasons. Rudolph is obviously not as good as peak Gronkowski, but he’s still an adequate starter that can be a decent bridge option while Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene develop.
Similarly, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see Rudolph land in a place like Cincinnati. Joe Burrow loved tight ends in college, but that production didn’t transfer over to the NFL. C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample are both pretty unremarkable options, and Rudolph could serve as a solid third or fourth option in the passing game.
The previous two teams have plenty of cap space and have the ability to outbid most teams. However, if Rudolph truly prioritizes winning, he might be willing to leave a few dollars on the table and join the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo has a great receiving trio in Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Gabriel Davis, but they don’t have a reliable weapon at tight end. Kyle Rudolph would fill that role, and his blocking ability should also make life easier for running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss.
The Dark Horses
The Philadelphia Eagles are going to have to make several moves just to get below the salary cap, and they don’t have any real chance of competing in 2021. That said, they absolutely have the need for a player like Rudolph, especially considering the fact that Zach Ertz could be traded any day now. Dallas Goedert is a good tight end, but this offense is at its best with multiple receiving threats at tight end. On top of that, Jalen Hurts is going to need all the help he can get to prove himself as a viable starting quarterback.
Last, but certainly not least, is the New York Giants. Even though he made the Pro Bowl in 2020, Evan Engram has not lived up to expectations. The former first-round pick has his moments of greatness, but is simply too inconsistent to be a reliable part of the offense. Rudolph would give New York a steadying presence at the position while allowing Engram to focus on being more of a receiver than a true tight end.
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