Veteran Kyle Rudolph is signing a one-year contact with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday, giving Tom Brady a new tight end target in the wake of Rob Gronkowski‘s retirement.
Rudolph gives Brady and the Bucs an experienced tight end to pair with Cam Brate.
After him, the Bucs have just one other tight end with actual game experience in Codey McElroy, and while he had a good spring, he’s played in just one career game. The team selected Cade Otton in the fourth round and Ko Kieft in the sixth in April’s NFL draft.
The Giants released Rudolph in March after he had just 26 catches for 257 yards with a touchdown in his only year with the team. He averaged just 2.9 yards per separation, per NextGen Stats, after averaging 4.0 yards and 3.4 yards in the two previous seasons.
Rudolph had spent the previous 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Only his rookie season and 2014 — when he missed almost half the year with injuries — was he less productive than this past season.
The 32-year-old has 479 catches for 4,745 yards and 49 touchdowns in his NFL career, which included Pro Bowl campaigns in 2012 and ’17.
Gronk retired for a second straight time in June — he’s since reiterated that he has no plans to return to the NFL — leaving the Bucs looking for another tight end.
Information from ESPN’s Jenna Laine and Jordan Raanan was used in this report.