The Giants have agreed to sign veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph, who previously spent 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings.
Dave Gettleman adds another offensive weapon.
According to Art Stapleton of The Record, the Giants have reached an agreement to sign veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph. It’s a two-year deal worth up to $14 million.
#NYGiants have agreed to terms with TE Kyle Rudolph, per source
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) March 18, 2021
Rudolph previously spent 10 seasons with the Vikings, a tenure that encompassed a pair of Pro Bowl nods (2012 and 2017). He can still play at a mid-to-high level, so it’s clear the Giants may need to part ways with one of Evan Engram, Levine Toilolo, or Kaden Smith.
The Giants just restructured Toilolo’s contract while the coaching staff is still looking to make Engram one of the offensive unit’s top weapons. Thus, if Big Blue is going to release anyone, it would likely be Smith, a primary blocking tight end.
Engram still, however, could be traded, and that may be a move the Giants should make regardless of what head coach Joe Judge thinks of him. The organization would not incur a dead cap charge and could further collect draft capital ahead of a draft in which the team possesses just six picks.
This move also brings about questions in regard to whether the Giants will select Florida tight end Kyle Pitts if he’s available at No. 11 overall. Employing at least four tight ends on the roster might not be something the front office prefers, but then again, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has always utilized the position group a significant amount.
It’s unclear the role Rudolph will possess.
He’s been a talented pass-catching tight end for the majority of his career but his receiving numbers have decreased in recent seasons while his age has obviously increased. His 2.4 and 2.3 receptions-per-game marks in 2019 and 2020 (respectively) were the lowest of his career since his 2011 rookie campaign. The same goes for his 22.9 and 27.8 receiving yards-per-game marks in 2019 and 2020.
He is indeed a decent red-zone target though. Rudolph just notched six touchdown receptions two seasons ago, so look for the Giants to possibly exercise that strength of his.
Garrett could utilize him as a primary blocking tight end, but if the Giants plan on that being the case, why would they provide him with an average annual salary of $7 million when he’s on the wrong side of 30, declining in skill, and coming off a season in which a foot injury caused him to miss the final four regular-season games?
Taking that route would be a head-scratching development, that’s for sure.