The Buccaneers have filled the sizable hole that Rob Gronkowski left, or so they hope.
One month after the 33-year-old tight end hung up his cleats for a second time, Tampa Bay has agreed to a one-year contract with a different veteran tight end – Kyle Rudolph. The deal, reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, provides quarterback Tom Brady with another sure-handed option on offense.
The Giants released Rudolph in March after he caught just 26 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown in his only season with the team.
Before that, Rudolph, 32, spent the first decade of his NFL career with the Vikings.
Rudolph has 479 catches for 4,745 yards and 49 touchdowns in his NFL career. He was also a two-time Pro Bowl selection, in 2012 and 2017.
He also gives Brady a veteran tight end, along with Cameron Brate. The only other tight end on the roster with experience is Codey McElroy, who has played in just one game. Tampa Bay also drafted two tight ends, Cade Otton in the fourth round and Ko Kieft in the sixth, in April’s NFL Draft.
Gronkowski said during his retirement from the Bucs that he wouldn’t be returning for a 12th NFL season, even if Brady called him and asked him to come back.