While New York Giants fans wait on pins and needles on Kenny Golladay’s free agency decision, their team continues to pull the trigger on complementary moves.
According to the team’s official website, The Giants have reached a contract agreement with two-time Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph. While the numbers on the deal have yet to be confirmed, a since-deleted Instagram post from Rudolph’s agents detailing the contract placed the numbers at $16 million across two years. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo came in a tad lower on his projections, dropping the max value by $2 million.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 18, 2021
Rudolph was part of a cap-saving move by the Vikings earlier this offseason. By moving on from the tight end, the team freed up approximietely $5 million in cap space. Prior to the move, Rudolph was the Vikings’ longest-tenured player, spending the last 10 seasons in Minnesota.
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Rudolph Brings Consistency to an Inconsistent Position
A former second-round pick back in 2011, Rudolph is not the receiving threat he once was during his early days in Minnesota. Still, his all-around game is a much-welcomed addition to the Giants’ tight end room.
Rudolph has been the epitome of consistency throughout his NFL career. The Notre Dame product has earned an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 70-plus in six of his 10 seasons in the NFL. Furthermore, he’s never once graded below 63.2. For comparison, Giants tight end Evan Engram — who earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2020 — is coming off a season where he notched an overall PFF grade of just 60.5. In fact, Engram has topped a 64.1 grade just once over his four NFL seasons.
Kyle Rudolph has graded 70+ overall in 6 of his 10 seasons and all have been 60+.
Consistent Tight End. pic.twitter.com/7T2juh4kIu
— PFF NY Giants (@PFF_Giants) March 18, 2021
A big reason for Rudolph’s well-rounded marks is what he’s capable of offering in the run game. Of all the tight ends in the NFL to log at least 200 snaps a season ago, Rudolph graded out as the league’s fifth-best blocking tight end — likely music to the ears of Giants fans.
Helping pave the way for Dalvin Cook in Minnesota, the Vikings have finished within the top-six in rushing offense in each of the past two seasons. As for the Giants, they’ve checked in as the league’s 19th-ranked rush offense in back-to-back years.
Rudolph Continues to be a Red Zone Threat
Over Rudolph’s Vikings tenure, the Ohio native accumulated 453 receptions, 4,488 receiving yards and 48 touchdowns. He also earned two Pro Bowl nods along the way, first in 2012 and most recently in 2017. Rudolph saw a career-low 37 targets come his way in 2020, as he began to be fazed out of Minnesota’s offense. However, over the four seasons prior he totaled 243 receptions and 25 touchdowns on 343 targets.
Now in East Rutherford, Rudolph will join a tight end group that includes Evan Engram, Kaden Smith and Levine Toilolo, the latter of which recently reconstructed his contract to remain with the Giants.
The Rudolph move is just the latest in what’s become a pipeline between Minnesota and New York. Former Giants standout defender Dalvin Tomlinson inked a two-year, $22 million deal with the Vikings two days ago. While defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, a 15-game starter for the Vikings last season, agreed to a one-year deal with the G-Men on Wednesday.
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