Veteran Kyle Rudolph is signing a year-long contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday, giving Tom Brady a new tight end target following Rob Gronkowski’s retirement.
Rudolph gives Brady and the Bucs an experienced tight end to pair with Cam Brate.
After him, the Bucs have just another tight end of actual playing experience in Codey McElroy, and while he had a good spring, he’s only played in one career game. The team selected Cade Otton in the fourth round and Ko Kieft in the sixth in the April NFL draft.
The New York Giants released Rudolph in March after he had just 26 catches for 257 yards with a touchdown in his only year with the team. He averaged just 2.9 yards per separation, according to NextGen Stats, after averaging 4.0 yards and 3.4 yards in the previous two seasons.
Rudolph had spent the last 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Only his rookie season and 2014 – when he was out nearly half of the year through injury – was less productive than last season.
The 32-year-old has 479 catches for 4,745 yards and 49 touchdowns in his NFL career, including Pro Bowl campaigns in 2012 and 2017.
Gronkowski retired for a second straight season in June — he has since reiterated that he has no plans to return to the NFL — leaving the Bucs looking for another tight end.
Information from ESPN’s Jenna Laine and Jordan Raanan was used in this report.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34274033/sources-kyle-rudolph-signing-1-year-deal-tampa-bay-buccaneers Kyle Rudolph signing 1-year deal with Tampa Bay Buccaneers