Veteran Kyle Rudolph is signing a one-year contact with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday, giving Tom Brady a new tight end target in the wake of Rob Gronkowski‘s retirement.
Rudolph gives Brady and the Buccaneers an experienced tight end to pair with Cam Brate.
The Buccaneers have just one other tight end with game experience in Codey McElroy, and while he had a good spring, he has played in just one career game. The team selected Cade Otton in the fourth round and Ko Kieft in the sixth in April’s NFL draft.
The New York Giants released Rudolph in March after he had 26 catches for 257 yards and 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 two previous seasons.
Prior to 2021, Rudolph spent 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Only in his rookie season and 2014 — when he missed almost half the year with injuries — was he less productive than last season.
The 32-year-old has 479 catches for 4,745 yards and 49 touchdowns in his NFL career, which included Pro Bowl campaigns in 2012 and 2017.
Gronkowski retired for a second time in June — he’s since reiterated that he has no plans to return to the NFL — leaving the Buccaneers looking for another tight end.