Kyle Rudolph Contract Will Be Honored by Giants Despite Foot Injury, Says GM

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) pulls in a touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans in an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman confirmed Tuesday that the Giants will honor the terms of the contract they signed tight end Kyle Rudolph to this offseason despite the fact that Rudolph has a foot injury requiring surgery. 

According to NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano, Gettleman said: "We are the Giants, we're going to do everything with the class."

Rudolph and the Giants agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract in March, but his physical turned up a foot issue before the contract was signed. Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the two sides made the deal official anyway with the knowledge that Rudolph would need surgery and would likely be ready for Week 1.

The 31-year-old Rudolph spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Minnesota Vikings, earning Pro Bowl nods in 2012 and 2017.

In 140 career regular-season games, including 132 starts, Rudolph has registered 453 receptions for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns. He ranks first in Vikings history in touchdown catches by a tight end and second in receptions and receiving yardage among tight ends behind only Steve Jordan.

Rudolph's role was diminished over the past two seasons, however, leading to the Vikes releasing him last month.

In 12 games last season, Rudolph finished with 28 receptions for 334 yards and one touchdown. The reception and yardage totals were his worst since his rookie season in 2011 when taking into account seasons in which he played at least 12 games, while his one touchdown was a career low.

With Rudolph missing some time due to a foot injury last season and slowing down compared to where he was earlier in his career, Irv Smith Jr. emerged as the Vikings' No. 1 tight end last season.

In New York, Rudolph is likely to play second fiddle to Evan Engram, but since Engram is a pass-catching tight end who struggles in other areas, Rudolph should still receive plenty of playing time.

The former Notre Dame standout isn't likely to come anywhere close to the career year of 83 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns he enjoyed in 2016, but he could still be a useful piece for the G-Men.

In terms of providing quarterback Daniel Jones with a reliable safety valve and paving the way for running back Saquon Barkley, Rudolph should be a key contributor in 2021 provided his recovery from foot surgery goes as planned.