NFL Rumors: Kyle Rudolph Drawing Interest from Bucs, Vikings Ahead of Training Camp

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 14, 2022

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 09: Kyle Rudolph #80 of the New York Giants is tackled by Darryl Roberts #34 of the Washington Football Team in the first quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on January 09, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph "has interest from multiple teams," per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings.

Per that report, the "situation should crystallize some time before camps open."

Rudolph, 32, would make sense for both teams.

The Buccaneers saw Rob Gronkowski choose retirement this offseason and O.J. Howard sign with the Buffalo Bills in free agency, leaving them just Cameron Brate atop the depth chart ahead of rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft.

So adding an experienced option like Rudolph would be logical, even if his prime years are behind him.

Rudolph spent his first 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before playing for the New York Giants last year, catching 26 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown in 16 games (13 starts).

During his Minny years he was a two-time Pro Bowler and a major threat in the red zone, averaging 4.8 touchdowns per season. He posted six or more scores four times in his career.

A Vikings reunion would have benefit beyond nostalgia. Irv Smith Jr. has shown potential in his young career (66 catches for 676 yards and seven touchdowns in 29 career games), though he missed all of last season with a meniscus injury.

If Smith has the breakout year that was expected from him in 2021, the position will be in good hands. But that's not guaranteed, and having an experienced option like Rudolph at the ready would give the Vikings options.