With Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, the Bucs are skinny on expertise on the tight finish place. Which may change quickly, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday night that Tampa Bay has curiosity in veteran Kyle Rudolph, who stays a free agent.
Free agent tight finish Kyle Rudolph has curiosity from a number of groups forward of coaching camp. The #Bucs have been concerned, I am advised, and a reunion with the #Vikings just isn’t off the desk. This case ought to crystallize a while earlier than camps open.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 14, 2022
Rudolph’s title was instantly floated in reference to the Bucs as a veteran substitute for Gronkowski final month. The 11-year veteran most not too long ago performed with the Giants, posting 26 catches for 257 yards (9.9 avg.) and one landing in 16 video games (13 begins) final 12 months.
Earlier than his one-year stint with the Giants, he spent 10 years with the Vikings. Throughout his time in Minnesota, he totaled 453 catches for 4,488 yards (9.9 avg) and 48 touchdowns. He was a Professional Bowl choice in 2012 and 2017.
What Would Rudolph Add To The Bucs’ Tight Finish Room?
There’s no denying that Rudolph could be a priceless veteran presence for Tampa Bay’s tight finish group. Cameron Brate is at present the one skilled participant the workforce has on the place. Rookies Cade Otton, Ko Kieft, JJ Howland and Ben Beise are additionally within the combine, as is longtime observe squad member Codey McElroy.
Rudolph will probably be 33 in November, so he’s undoubtedly nearing the tip of his professional profession. With that mentioned, it’s truthful to marvel how a lot he has left within the tank. His 2021 season wasn’t particularly spectacular. He earned a 63.5 general grade from Professional Soccer Focus whereas grading out with a 63.4 receiving grade. His 62.9 pass-blocking grade is a far cry from Gronkowski’s 70.1 mark, however his 59.5 run-blocking grade is a bit higher than Gronkowski’s 51.4. It goes with out saying that his receiving numbers are a step down from what the Bucs bought out of Gronk final 12 months, too.
Whether or not the Bucs signal Rudolph or not, it’s value monitoring whether or not they make any strikes on the tight finish place. Gronkowski reaffirmed his retirement earlier this week, so Tampa Bay now faces a call. Does the workforce stand pat and wait to see if Otton or one other tight finish emerges throughout coaching camp? Or will a transfer be made earlier than the workforce will get again collectively in a few weeks? Keep tuned.