Kyle Rudolph signs with Buccaneers, fills Rob Gronkowski void

The Buccaneers have filled the important hole left by Rob Gronkowski, or so they hope.

A month after the 33-year-old tight end hung up his cleats for the second time, Tampa Bay agreed to a one-year contract with another veteran tight end – Kyle Rudolph. The deal, reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, gives quarterback Tom Brady another safe option on offense.

The Giants released Rudolph in March after catching 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 during his NFL career. He was also a two-time Pro Bowl selection, in 2012 and 2017.

Kyle Rudolph spent last season with the Giants before being released.
Kyle Rudolph spent last season with the Giants before being released.
Charles Baus/Cal Sport Media/Sip
Tom Brady will have a new tight end in Tampa after the retirement of Rob Gronkowski.
Tom Brady will have a new tight end to throw in Tampa after Rob Gronkowski retires.
PA

He also gives Brady a veteran tight end, with Cameron Brate. The only other tight end on the roster with experience is Codey McElroy, who has only played one game. Tampa Bay also drafted two tight ends, Cade Otton in the fourth round and Ko Kieft in the sixth, in the NFL Draft in April.

Gronkowski said upon his retirement from the Bucs that he would not be returning for a 12th NFL season, even if Brady called him and asked him to come back.

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