The Vikings have released 31-year-old tight end Kyle Rudolph, in a move that was made for primarily salary cap reasons. Rudolph has only been a Viking in his 10 years in the league, and he penned a piece for The Players Tribune thanking the organization for the treatment he received from the Twin Cities-based organization.
Cutting Rudolph saved the Vikings $5.1 million dollars, which is the only reason the team released him. The reduced salary cap has a lot of teams cutting former stars like Rudolph in order to get their money low enough to not violate the cap. This brings us to our topic, should the Chiefs sign Kyle Rudolph and have the best pair of tight ends in the entire NFL?
The one thing the Chiefs offense has been lacking the past few years is a solid backup tight end to spell Travis Kelce. Ever since Demetrius Harris priced his way out of town due to cap concerns, the Chiefs have struggled to find a decent backup tight end.
They thought they had this issue resolved last year when they picked up Ricky Seals-Jones from Cleveland, but his injury in last year’s preseason ended his season before it even started.
This was a disappointment for sure, but Kelce ended up picking up the slack by coming 4thin the league in receiving yards with 1,229. Kelce is turning 32 in October of this year, however, so he will need the breaks provided by a solid backup this season and moving forward so he doesn’t get burnt out. If the Chiefs could get the numbers to work Rudolph would give the team an absolutely lethal 1-2 punch from the tight end spot.
Kyle Rudolph has been selected to two pro bowls, once in 2012 and again most recently in 2017. The 31-year-old tight end was selected with the 43rdoverall pick in the 2011 draft and has until now remained a Viking his entire career.
In his 10-year career, Rudolph has only lost one fumble, an astounding number. This indicates the strength he has in his hands, which also makes him a sure-handed receiver, rarely if ever dropping a catchable ball. These strong, sure hands have led Rudolph to rack up 4,488 receiving yards in his 10 seasons as a Viking.
His most underrated talent is his blocking ability, which is what he would be most utilized as a Chief. Rudolph is basically equivalent to having a 6thoffensive lineman on the field, which Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire would love to have him on the field opening up running lanes. The Chiefs showed in the Super Bowl how depleted the play in the trenches was last season, and Rudolph could benefit the Chiefs greatly in that aspect as well.
The only issue that could prevent the Chiefs from signing Rudolph is on the financial side. The NFL announced today that the salary cap would be set at $182.5 million, down 8% from last year due to COVID losses. But if Rudolph could be convinced to take a team-friendly deal in order for a chance at his first Super Bowl championship and play with Patrick Mahomes, I’m sure that the wonderkid GM Brett Veach could pull it off.
The Mahomes effect has brought quite a few free agents and made KC a destination for players looking for a shot at a title, and Rudolph has never played in a Super Bowl before which might motivate him to do the same thing. Signing Kyle Rudolph would give the Chiefs the most lethal 1-2 punch from tight ends in the NFL, and could possibly give Travis Kelce a much-needed break.