Buccaneers land Kyle Rudolph

Wild Card Round - Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints
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The Buccaneers apparently have taken “I’m done playing, and I mean it” for an answer.

Veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph has signed a one-year deal with the Buccaneers, according to ESPN.

Rudolph, who spent 10 years with the Vikings before a one-year stint with the Giants, becomes the veteran replacement for Rob Gronkowski, who has repeatedly said his career is over — even if those close to him (including his agent and girlfriend) don’t buy it.

A two-time Pro Bowler and a captain of a 2017 Minnesota team that came within a game of the Super Bowl, Rudolph has 479 career regular-season catches for 4,475 yards and 49 touchdowns. His most productive year came in 2016, with 83 catches for 840 yards. In his lone season in New York, Rudolph had 26 receptions for 257 yards and a touchdown.

Veteran Cameron Brate is the expected starter, but Rudolph should get plenty of opportunities, especially with Gronk not coming back.

Rudolph, 32, entered the league in 2011, one year after Gronkowski. The terms of the deal, which have not yet been leaked, will go a long way toward determining whether Rudolph is a lock for the 53-man roster, or whether he’ll have to earn a job in August.

Regardless, the move should be regarded as further proof that Gronkowski won’t be back in Tampa in 2022. Whether he joins forces with Brady if/when Brady plays for another team in 2023 remains to be seen.

34 responses to “Buccaneers land Kyle Rudolph

  1. Gronk will rejoin Brady in San Francisco (or Miami) in 2023, after Trey Lance (or Tua) inevitably flames out in 2022. Maybe Sean Payton will land in Miami if Brady does.

  2. Darn it, Rudy… I’m sure the money had a little to do with the decision. But I also guess that having a shot to play with old Tommy boy swayed your choice. Good luck brother, hope things go well.

  3. Great person, good team-mate and leader; however, he left MN for NY believing he was underutilized as a blocking TE and red zone specialist (which obviously didn’t work out in NY). If he accepts that role in Tampa that he thought was beneath him in MN, it should work out fine.

  4. Can’t believe he is an 11 year veteran. Where did all the time go? I feel like the retiring of players is my wake up call to how much time has passed in my own life.

  5. They still need more help. Gronk is retired, Brown is done, and Howard is with the Bills. Fournette is overweight as well. Plus, Godwin is coming off an injury. It’s not looking good. And that’s just the offense. Ndamukong Suh is also gone.

  6. Rudolph was excellent in his prime. He now looks like he’s wearing cement shoes. He’s earned plenty of money and should be hanging it up.

  7. That’s not saying much, why do you think he was still available. Kyle Rudolph has three daughters and they all run faster than him. Also he’s been injury prone for the last 5 years-maybe 6.

  8. He is the missing piece at TE. He’s not Gronk, but he is a superb player who will help a lot with the two TE sets. Good move!

    I does make me wonder why he is out there so late though.

  9. That’s a great pickup…how come he wasn’t on anyones team ? Experienced , not that beat up, and a great leader. 31 teams are slipping.

  10. This is the Bucs telling Gronk they’re done with his circus and don’t want him back.

  11. He’ll have decent red zone numbers thanks to Brady but the Bucs still will miss Gronk that guy is the best tight end ever. No question b

  12. A good TE. I hope he catches on quick, timing on routes and TB12’s trust are going to dictate his success in that offense. He is not vintage Gronk but then again…neither is Gronk anymore. Pats fan but thinking if Brady stays healthy and upright and Fournette gets into a reasonable shape,Bucs offense may be fun to watch.

  13. Great hands and size to be a red zone threat. Just don’t expect the numbers to pop. Between the 20s he’s a catch and fall guy who can block.

  14. LOL at Buccaneer fans thinking Rudolph is good. The guy hasn’t had a good season since 2017.

  15. yolo2020 says:
    July 21, 2022 at 8:24 am

    This is the Bucs telling Gronk they’re done with his circus and don’t want him back.

    Amen. Well said!

  16. Just shows how much you can milk 1 above average season. Even if it was 5-6 years ago.

  17. so far the Bucs have gotten worse this year…no Gronk or Brown and the players they’ve added are middling at best.

  18. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    July 21, 2022 at 8:22 am
    That’s a great pickup…how come he wasn’t on anyones team ? Experienced , not that beat up, and a great leader. 31 teams are slipping.
    ——————————————————————-
    31 teams have a better option. There is a reason why the Vikings released him and then after one season, the Giants did to. He could be a good red zone threat. Could be…

  19. Watch the game video Bucs fans — you can time him with a sundial. With Rudolph there is no such thing as a quick timing route. My grandma has equal quick twitch. He can now block and catch end zone fades (due to great hands and height).

  20. Great hands and a great human being, but easy to bring down. I’ll bet his Yards After Catch stat is the lowest of all tight ends currently playing.

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