Kyle Rudolph

Giants Activate Kyle Rudolph From PUP List

Kyle Rudolph passed his physical Wednesday and will move toward a Week 1 return. The veteran tight end is now off the Giants’ active/PUP list.

The offseason acquisition spent nearly a month on the Giants’ PUP list due to the foot surgery he underwent in March. That operation briefly clouded Rudolph’s agreement to join the Giants, but the sides ended up following through with the initial deal.

It remains uncertain if Rudolph will be ready to play for his new team when its season begins Sept. 12. The 11th-year veteran, however, is not noticeably behind schedule. He said earlier this summer missing training camp was in play but has continued to keep Week 1 as the goal.

Rudolph, 31, suffered a foot injury last season — one that caused him to miss his first game action since 2014 — and Giants doctors discovered a Lisfranc issue during his physical in March. Lisfranc injuries can be difficult to shake, so it will be interesting to see if Rudolph can avoid any additional setbacks.

He committed to the Giants on a two-year, $12MM deal, joining the likes of Kenny Golladay, John Ross and first-round pick Kadarius Toney as new weapons for Daniel Jones. Rudolph will be expected to work in tandem with Evan Engram, who is going into a contract year.

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Kyle Rudolph Addresses Recovery Timetable

Shortly after the Giants agreed to terms with Kyle Rudolph, the agreement hit a snag due to the veteran tight end’s physical. While the Giants ended up finalizing the deal, Rudolph underwent a foot surgery that has required months of rehab.

Rudolph said he underwent the surgery shortly after his Giants contract became official in late March, and while the 11th-year pass catcher stopped short of saying he will be ready when Big Blue’s training camp begins, the plan remains for him to be available by Week 1.

As far as football goes, I was extremely fortunate that the Giants organization and everyone involved [caught the injury during a physical], and how they were able to handle my situation, that I won’t miss any football,” Rudolph said, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

The two-time Pro Bowler missed the final four games of last season due to a foot injury but did not expect to have additional issues with the ailment this offseason. Rudolph did not miss a game from 2015-19, but foot trouble has comprised a sizable chunk of his past year.

I felt completely fine coming out of last season. After I rehabbed, I was anticipating coming back for the last game of the year and then playing through the playoffs,” Rudolph said. “Unfortunately that didn’t work out for us as a team last year in Minnesota, so there were no playoffs. Then I continued with my offseason as if I was completely healthy.

So I was extremely fortunate the Giants medical staff was able to find this in March and it isn’t something where I came back here all fired up for OTAs in June and then hurt myself and put myself at risk for missing football games.”

The Giants loaded up on skill-position players this offseason. Rudolph joins Kenny Golladay, John Ross, Devontae Booker and first-round pick Kadarius Toney as new options this year. While it is unclear if Rudolph will have a full workload to start the season or if he will be eased into action like Saquon Barkley, the Giants may be set to use him in a part-time capacity anyway. Evan Engram remains the team’s starting tight end.

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NFC East Notes: Rudolph, Eagles, Cowboys

Kyle Rudolph is expected to undergo foot surgery soon, and he may be in for extensive rehab. The new Giants tight end is believed to be dealing with a Lisfranc injury, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. The troublesome foot malady can be difficult to shake, but Rudolph expects to be ready for Week 1. This injury is similar to what Evan Engram dealt with in 2019. Engram underwent surgery to address his Lisfranc issue in December 2019 and was ready for training camp last year. Rudolph’s timetable is considerably more condensed, which likely led to the delay in the veteran tight end signing his Giants contract. Engram and Rudolph would give the Giants one of the NFL’s top tight end tandems, but the former’s injury history and the latter’s current issue cloud that situation to some degree.

Here is more from the NFC East:

  • GM Howie Roseman and Eagles scouts had differing opinions on which players to select with the team’s top two draft choices last year. The veteran GM and Eagles coaches’ preference for Jalen Reagor won out over the consensus scouts’ preference: Justin Jefferson. Roseman also veered from his scouts’ recommendation in Round 2, tabbing Jalen Hurts over safety Jeremy Chinn, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes. The Eagles will bank on the latter move this season, having since traded Carson Wentz and seemingly signed Joe Flacco to back up Hurts. Chinn went to the Panthers at No. 64 — 11 picks after Hurts — and finished second in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Going to the Vikings one pick after Reagor, Jefferson finished second in the Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.
  • Frank Reich‘s future took a major turn in 2018, when Josh McDaniels‘ backtracking on his Colts commitment ended up re-routing the Eagles OC to Indianapolis. This came shortly after Reich played a key role in the Eagles’ first Super Bowl championship. Reich nearly saw his status change in 2017, however. A front office push for Reich’s firing existed, according to McLane, who adds Doug Pederson managed to save Reich’s job. In Wentz’s first season — a 7-9 Eagles campaign, which was also Reich’s first as Eagles OC — the team ranked 22nd in total offense. They rose to seventh in 2017, with Wentz finishing first in QBR. The Eagles, who promoted Mike Groh to replace Reich and then fired Groh after the 2019 season, have since hired Reich’s top Colts protégé (Nick Sirianni) as head coach.
  • Brandon Graham agreed to restructure his deal to provide the Eagles with additional cap space last month. Graham’s adjusted contract can be classified as a one-year extension, with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweeting the new deal is worth nearly $20MM over two years. The Eagles converted Graham’s salaries into prorated bonuses, with the 11-year veteran set to earn barely $1MM in base salary in each of the next three seasons. The team tacked on three void years to the contract, per OverTheCap, which indicates each of Graham’s cap numbers over the life of this through-2023 contract are south of $10MM.
  • After hiring Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator, the Cowboys brought both Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee over from Atlanta. The latter’s deal will be worth the veteran minimum, according to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). Kazee will count just $988K against the Cowboys’ cap. Attempting to return from an Achilles tear, Kazee will collect $250K guaranteed.

Giants Complete Kyle Rudolph Signing

Despite Tuesday’s roadblocks, the Giants have ironed things out with Kyle Rudolph. The former Vikings tight end inked his new deal with the G-Men on Wednesday morning (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

[RELATED: Giants Concerned About Kyle Rudolph‘s Physical]

Rudolph first agreed to a two-year, $12MM deal last week. Then, a Giants physical yielded concerns about a foot issue that put surgery on the table. While it loomed possible that Rudolph’s reworked contract would have less in the way of guarantees or other added protections in the event of an injury, the Giants are honoring the original deal they agreed to with the veteran tight end, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

Rudolph will undergo surgery this offseason, Garafolo adds, but he is expected to ready for action by the time the Giants begin the regular season. It is not certain if Rudolph will be full-go when training camp opens.

The 31-year-old marks yet another notable signing for the Giants, who have also landed star wide receiver Kenny Golladay and former Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. Rudolph is now set to support top tight end Evan Engram as the Giants look to reignite their offense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Health Issue Holding Up Giants’ Kyle Rudolph Deal

The Giants’ contract agreement with longtime Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph is no longer a certainty. An injury issue emerged during Rudolph’s physical, and the sides are determining how to proceed, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

Following the physical, the Giants’ medical staff expressed concern about a foot issue, and Giants doctors believe Rudolph will require surgery, according to Garafolo. This could scuttle Rudolph’s two-year Giants accord. The sides previously agreed to terms, but Rudolph has not signed a contract.

This deal does not appear to be dead, however. Rudolph is still in New York and will meet with the Giants tonight, Garafolo tweets. Rather than send Rudolph back to free agency, the Giants may move forward despite the veteran needing to undergo surgery.

Rudolph agreed to a two-year, $12MM Giants pact that can max out at $14MM. However, after they agreed to terms with Rudolph, the Giants have been aggressive in free agency. The team has authorized high-end deals for Kenny Golladay and Adoree’ Jackson. The Giants also already have a No. 1 tight end, with Evan Engram going into a contract year.

A foot injury ended Rudolph’s 2020 season. The Vikings placed him on IR ahead of Week 17, doing so after their longtime tight end had missed the previous three games.

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Giants To Sign Kyle Rudolph

The Giants are adding a pass-catcher from the NFC North. No, it’s not Kenny Golladay (sorry Giants fans), but the team has come to terms on an agreement with tight end Kyle Rudolph, his agency Athletes First announced on Instagram (via Will Brinson of CBS Sports on Twitter).

The deal is expected to be for two years with a max value around $14MM, Mika Garafolo of NFL Network tweets. Rudolph was released by the Vikings a couple weeks ago after spending the first ten years of his career in Minnesota. We heard after his release that he was interested in joining the Patriots, but New England opted to sign Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry instead. If you can’t join ’em, why not go to the team that’s beat them in the Super Bowl twice?

It’s been a busy day for tight end news, with trades, releases, and signings. The Chargers signing Jared Cook could turn out to have a domino effect on the rest of the market as the remaining quality options are getting snatched up. A Zach Ertz trade could be the next piece to fall into place.

Rudolph has never been a star but has always been a reliable option, and made the Pro Bowl in 2012 and 2017. He’s 31 now and coming off a couple down years, but had 634 yards in 2018. Evan Engram is still in the picture, and Daniel Jones will now have a very solid tight end duo at his disposal.

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Kyle Rudolph Interested In Joining Patriots

Kyle Rudolph was only released by the Vikings this week, but he isn’t wasting any time in thinking about where he wants to play next. Immediately after his release we heard he’d be excited about joining Cleveland, and now we’ve got another team on his list.

Rudolph is also interested in playing for the Patriots, a source told Doug Kyed of NESN.com. It hasn’t been reported on yet, but there are some reasons to believe the interest might be mutual. New England sniffed around a Rudolph trade a couple of years ago when the tight end was having contract issues in Minnesota, although obviously nothing materialized.

Tight end is also a big need for Bill Belichick on paper, as the team got virtually nothing from the position in 2020. Ryan Izzo led the team’s tight ends with 13 catches for 199 yards and no touchdowns. No matter what you think of Rudolph, he’d be a massive upgrade.

As a veteran who got cut, Rudolph doesn’t have to wait for the start of free agency and can sign wherever he wants immediately. He’s 31 now and coming off a down year, but has two Pro Bowls under his belt and has proven he can be a reliable option.

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Kyle Rudolph Interested In Joining Browns

Following the Vikings’ decision to part ways with Kyle Rudolph, he is a first-time free agent. The veteran tight end would not mind linking up with a longtime Vikings assistant.

Rudolph is interested in joining the Browns, with Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com noting the 10-year pass catcher would “love” to rejoin Kevin Stefanski in Cleveland. Stefanski was with Minnesota for Rudolph’s first nine seasons. The reigning NFL Coach of the Year worked as the Vikings’ OC in 2019 and served as Rudolph’s position coach from 2014-15.

The Browns gave Austin Hooper a $10.5MM-AAV deal at free agency’s outset last year and have David Njoku under contract for 2021, having picked up the former first-rounder’s fifth-year option. However, Njoku did not play a major role in Stefanski’s offense last season.

Over the past two seasons, Njoku has just 24 receptions. The four-year Browns contributor is sounding like the team may move on from him (Twitter link), potentially via trade or release. He requested a trade last year but moved off that stance, but his future in Cleveland still appears murky. Since Njoku is a 2017 first-round pick, his fifth-year option is guaranteed for injury only. A Njoku release would create just more than $6MM in cap space for the Browns.

Far and away the leading touchdown scorer (among tight ends) in Vikings history, Rudolph scored six in Stefanski’s offense in 2019 and added a playoff walk-off soon after. The two-time Pro Bowler, however, has not eclipsed 400 receiving yards since the 2018 season. At 31, the 6-foot-6 talent still figures to receive interest. He was involved in trade rumors during the 2019 draft and ahead of the 2020 trade deadline.

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Vikings Release TE Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph‘s 10-year run with the Vikings will conclude. The Vikings are releasing their longest-tenured player, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). The team confirmed the move.

The veteran tight end’s current Vikings contract runs through 2023. Moving on from Rudolph now will save the Vikings barely $5MM in cap space. Rudolph, 31, was set to count $9.4MM against Minnesota’s 2021 cap. A post-June 1 cut designation would bump up the 2021 savings to nearly $8MM.

This marks another departure from the core responsible for a few late-2010s playoff berths. Rudolph will follow Stefon Diggs, Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Linval Joseph out of Minnesota. After Griffen’s 2020 exit, Rudolph — a 2011 second-round pick — became the Vikings’ longest-tenured player.

The Vikings came into Tuesday nearly $10MM over the cap. While this release will help Minnesota somewhat, the team will still need to do more to free up offseason funding. Despite the Vikings declining to trade Rudolph at last year’s deadline and during the 2019 draft, it is not surprising to see the team move on months later. The team drafted Irv Smith Jr. in the 2019 second round, and the younger player should be expected to receive a bigger role beginning next season.

Rudolph signed a second extension to stay in Minnesota in 2019, with the Vikings pulling the trigger on that contract after drafting Smith. But Rudolph’s numbers were down over the past two seasons; he failed to top 400 yards in either slate. However, the Notre Dame product scored six touchdowns in 2019 and then came through with a walk-off TD that sealed the Vikings’ wild-card upset over the Saints. He scored just one touchdown last season, however, while Smith (five TDs) ate into his receiving role.

The 6-foot-6 pass catcher ranks fifth in both receptions (453) and touchdown catches (48) in franchise history. The latter number is tops among Vikings tight ends by a considerable margin.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 12/29/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans