Rob Gronkowski’s retirement left a hole in the Buccaneers’ offense but Tom Brady just got a new target with Kyle Rudolph signing with Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers have just beefed up their offense with a veteran tight end.
On Wednesday, Adam Schefter reported that former Vikings and Giants tight end Kyle Rudolph signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
The match seems like a win-win as Rudolph extends his career playing for a Hall of Fame quarterback while the Bucs fill a hole.
Tom Brady gets new tight end target as Kyle Rudolph signs with Bucs
Rob Gronkowski, who has been through thick and thin with Brady for a decade, retired for the second time this year. He previously retired ahead of the 2019 season but was coaxed out of retirement by Brady to chase another ring together in Tampa Bay.
Speculation has remained that Gronk will come out of retirement again if Brady asks but signing Rudolph could make that a bit less likely.
Gronkowski has always been more of a receiving threat than Rudolph, so it’s not necessarily a like-for-like replacement. Still, Rudolph had 840 yards and seven touchdowns with the Vikings in 2016. He was a Pro Bowler in 2012 and 2017.
He parted ways with Minnesota after the 2020 season, signing a one-year deal with the Giants. In 13 starts and 16 appearances, the 32-year-old had 26 catches for 257 yards and one touchdown.
Teaming up with Brady could give Rudolph to prove he still has juice left in the tank. The quarterback has a way of getting that out of people.
It already sounds like Brady and Rudolph are having fun with each other. According to Schefter, Rudolph “chose to play in Tampa despite the fact that former Michigan QB Tom Brady told his new tight end that he can’t be his first read because he went to Notre Dame.”