Patriots rumors: Free-agent tight end Kyle Rudolph interested in signing with the team

Patriots rumors suggest Kyle Rudolph would be interested in signing with the team if presented the opportunity. How would Rudolph fit in with New England?

Jan 5, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) celebrates after defeating the New Orleans Saints in overtime of a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports

As free agency nears for NFL teams, players are being cut due to cap casualties ahead of a hectic offseason. One of those players released is former Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who ended his tenure with the Vikings on Tuesday. However, Patriots rumors suggest he could be interested in the team.

According to NESN’s Doug Kyed, the now free-agent tight end would be interested in signing with the New England Patriots. This comes as the Patriots have an abundance of cap space as they look to bounce back from a mediocre 7-9 record with Cam Newton last season.

Rudolph is 31 years old and could be a good fit on the team that has pursued his talents as early as two years ago. This move would definitely make sense for the Patriots.

What would Kyle Rudolph bring to New England Patriots?

Last season, Kyle Rudolph recorded 28 receptions for 334 yards and a touchdown in 12 games with the Minnesota Vikings. Releasing Rudolph made sense for Minnesota, though, due to Irv Smith Jr. becoming an even stronger part of the offense in his second season at the same position.

For a team like the Patriots, a move for Rudolph would greatly help them due to the inexperience at the tight end position. New England drafted Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene on the second night of the 2020 NFL Draft. Neither of them contributed much at all in terms of numbers last season.

Asiasi was the only young tight end to bring in a touchdown, which was in Week 17 against the New York Jets. However, the lack of viable pass-catchers from the team also contributed to a very poor year for many players outside of wide receiver Jakobi Meyers.

If the Patriots do decide to bring Rudolph in on a one or two-year deal, this would help Asiasi and Keene in their development as they could learn from a tight end who once had a career-high of 840 yards in 2016. They have enough cap space to spread around and it most likely wouldn’t cost much for them to bring him onto the team.

Kyle Rudolph would jump-start New England Patriots passing game

Kyle Rudolph would jump-start New England Patriots passing game
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) talks with Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) after the game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Other Patriots rumors suggest that the team is not enamored with the free agent possibilities at the quarterback position, which could lead to a player like Cam Newton returning to the team. If this would be the case and Newton comes back with a better understanding of the system, Rudolph would be a big help.

Newton struggled to throw the ball down the field and the unreliability of the team’s young tight ends gave him fewer options to work with last year. If the veteran free-agent tight end would take his talents to New England, it could give them confidence in the position.

Rudolph would open the passing game and take the pressure off the wide receivers to constantly perform at a high level for whoever is at the helm of the Patriots next season. Any veteran in the locker room of Rudolph’s caliber can also be positive to the team.

New England still needs to figure out who would be passing the ball to Rudolph, but a tight end is also one of the top needs for the team as they look to turn it around during the 2021 campaign.

Free agency starts in just under two weeks and the quality of players being cut is expected to be better than in previous seasons. With cap space to their disposal, the Patriots could make some significant moves that no one saw coming before the offseason.

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