Kyle Rudolph Signs With Bucs

July 20th, 2022

New Bucs tight end.

Joe is going to guess we can officially kiss foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski goodbye.

Tonight, Adam Schefter of BSPN reported that veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph signed with the Bucs. It’s a one-year deal and specifics are unknown.

Schefter reported this minutes after Bucs legend Rondé Barber twittered out a photo of him and Rudolph playing golf today and referred to Rudolph as his “teammate.”

Rudolph, 32, caught 26 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns last season in 16 games for the miserable Giants. That was his first team following a strong 10-year career with the Vikings, including Pro Bowl seasons in 2012 and 2017.

Is Rudolph washed out? That’s unclear. But Bucs fans might remember when former Pro Bowl tight end Dallas Clark played out his career in Tampa back in 2012. He caught 31 balls for 343 yards and three touchdowns.

Tom Brady is no stranger to new tight ends. In 2014, Brady won a Super Bowl with Bucs castoff Tim Wright, who hauled in six touchdowns — 6! — from Brady during that regular season.

In Joe’s eyes, this ends all the speculation that Gronk will return to the Bucs. Joe is now in the camp that Gronk is history. If Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht thought Gronk would return, he wouldn’t have signed Rudolph.

54 Responses to “Kyle Rudolph Signs With Bucs”

  1. BuxfaninTX Says:

    That’s a great signing… His best games are vs the Saints….

  2. Steven007 Says:

    Well, I guess this is a sign that they’re taking gronk seriously.

  3. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    He hasn’t had 40 receptions since 2018. He’s the answer?

  4. Saskbucs Says:

    It’s depth and a veteran. Of course he is on the downside of his career and likely to have a big impact but him Brate and Otton hopefully make for a productive group.

  5. Buccos Says:

    Replacing one former Pro Bowler with another former Pro Bowler. Hopefully last year’s performance with the Giants is an aberration caused by a poor QB and not indicative of a washed up player. Go Bucs!

  6. Tuddie Time Says:

    It’s possible that Gronk will still come back and Rudolph I’d Brake’s replacement.

  7. Joe Says:

    He hasn’t had 40 receptions since 2018. He’s the answer?

    LOL Well, he is playing with Tom Brady now. 🙂

    Guess he is better than two rookies who have yet to catch a pass in a padded practice. Seems as though the Bucs may have thought Gronk really was returning until just recently?

  8. Buccos Says:

    Definitely an upgrade over Cam Brate, atleast in the blocking department. Hopefully Cade Otton can push him for playing time

  9. Goatfarmer Says:

    If it’s a million plus incentives, Gronk might still be had.

    Or Suh.

  10. GOB Says:

    It makes sense, and now Joe can stop with the Gronk a day. Rudolph gives Brady a seasoned, reliable target. I knew Licht wasn’t going with Brate, and two rookies, one recovering from ankle surgery. He’s certainly a downgrade in the blocking department, but the guy knows how to get open. With the other weapons at Brady’s disposal, he should catch a bunch of balls.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Good Choice, thanks to Gronk?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Good Choice!!!!
    Thanks Gronk, we appreciate you!

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    Kinda closes the chapter, no?

  14. Dooley Says:

    Not necessarily excited about the signing, but we’ll see what Rudolphs’ got after a year in football purgatory.

  15. PassingThru Says:

    I’m not expecting much, he hasn’t been all that productive in years.

    I hope it was a cheap signing. The Bucs need OBJ.

  16. Adrnagy Says:

    Upgrade from brate , otto. So ill take it. I still imo think gronk comes back.

    We need a pass rusher. At least a part timer.

  17. SPARKY Says:

    You guys and OBJ. He won’t be ready until December. He has 2 bad knees. He was good last year because every team but us doubled and tripled Kupp. We do not need OBJ. Wide receiver is not one of our weakness.

  18. Tbtb12 Says:

    Sadly, Gronk Is DONE. Bucs are/were in Dire need of an experienced, reliable TE for short money. Welcome to Kyle Rudolph.

  19. Tbtb12 Says:

    Per Greg Auman via Twitter:

    Pro Football Focus had Kyle Rudolph graded as the No. 35 tight end in the NFL last season. Cam Brate was No. 52, by comparison, O.J. Howard (now with Bills) No. 69.

  20. adam from ny Says:

    bucs might have gotten jammed up here by the gronk situation…either gronk’s fault or management’s fault…

    yet we might look back at some point this year and say………..

    “what if we still had oj howard”…

    would he be a buc right now if gronk retired cleanly after the season?…

    you never know – even though he hasn’t looked good up in buffalo to this point

  21. Commander Says:

    I don’t think this signals the end of Gronk. We probably could use some depth after losing Howard. Also, Gronk probably wouldn’t play as much this year as last.

  22. Joe Says:

    bucs might have gotten jammed up here by the gronk situation…either gronk’s fault or management’s fault…

    Understand where you are coming from but it is not like the Bucs got caught with their pants down. The Bucs did address the tight end position in the draft. Should they have been more aggressive about a veteran? Well, Gronk didn’t tell Licht he was done until earlier this month.

    Outside of pulling off a trade, there were slim pickings.

  23. PassingThru Says:


    You weren’t watching Rams games last season, so why pontificate on OBJ or even Kupp? And while you’re at it, Dr. SPARKY, no one knows when IBJ will return to action. By your rational, Godwin shouldn’t have been extended either as his return status is also murky.

    Rudolph is a tiny bandaid, he’s not going to cover the gaping hole left in receiving yards vacated by Gronk. Gage is no Antonio Brown. The Bucs have suffered a significant downgrade from their Super Bowl team in terms of receiving talent. OBJ is the best means of helping this team hit stride in time for the postseason.

  24. SPARKY Says:

    You are right Joe, there are only really about 6 or 7 good tight ends. Everybody else is 50 catches 500 yards at best. What we have is 2 experience receiver type, 1young receiver type, and 1 blocking maybe catch some type. Lot for us to work with.

  25. Elita Vita Says:

    Could we have a do-over and take McBride in the draft???

  26. PassingThru Says:

    This was a poor draft for TE talent, not that many rookie TEs make an impact anyway. A trade for a Schultz, Waller, or Gesicki would be an upgrade over Rudolph, but it takes two GMs to agree to a trade. In absence of a trade partner, the best option would be a cheap vet TE plus Odell Beckham to make up for those missing yards and TDs.

  27. Buczilla Says:

    This is a good move, but I expect to see Gronk back by November if we are in contention.

  28. EEK Says:

    He’s not a starter. Gronk we’ll leave the light on for you.

  29. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Washed…completely. I think I’d rather have Tim Wright back despite multiple years outta the league.

  30. SPARKY Says:

    Passing Thru, I did watch Rams games in the playoffs . I saw OBJ have some good games. He can’t beat anybody deep anymore, and that was before he blew out his other knee. Do you actually think a older, bad knees, high price receiver is better than Gage, or even TJ or Miller, or the other speed guys we have? The Rams ain’t even talking about resigning him. Who would know better than them?

  31. BillyBucco Says:

    Kyle Rudolph is the best blocker of the free agents available if that tells you anything.

    I think he will have 3-400 yards and 5-7 TDs.
    That’s just because he will be on the field.

    He is immediately the best blocking TE on the team.
    Sticking to the plan to make it seem at least we will run the ball more.

  32. adam from ny Says:

    can cam average 4 catches a game for for the season and get about 750 yards?

    if so, problem is almost solved if tom finds a good on field report with rudolph…

    basically brate needs to have an almost gronk like year catching the ball, and rudolph needs to have a cam brate type year with a little better blocking…

    while the 2 rooks show significant progress and growth from game to game…

    or otten has to have a brate like year receiving, if rudolph flops out…

    will gronk get itchy scratchy just watching the bucs and tommy b play every weekend while he sits on the couch nestled up all lovey dovey with wifey ?

    we shall see…

    yes i think they’ll leave the light on for robbie gee, and the key to the building under the doormat too

  33. CalBucsFan Says:

    Gronk averaged 50 receptions, 700 yards, and 6-7 TDs over his two years with the Bucs. Awesome Gronk, it was a blast having you onboard!

    Kyle, if you can add similar numbers this season, then welcome aboard!

    Joe, PLEASE continue to post a picture or two of Camille every once in awhile too, ok?

    Let’s go Bucs1

  34. steele Says:

    The safest, most predictable and cost-effective move they could have made. A one-year solid veteran who is the most balanced option among free agents, good role model consummate pro and mentor for Otton and Kieft, should work well with TB12. Doubt he will be spectacular, although TB12 will make him look good. They needed another TE anyway, even in the event that Gronk decides he wants another shot (I think it is doubtful). Rudolph/Brate—that duo is okay but not scary. Defenses will not have to account for Gronk, which is an issue that the rest of the offense better make up for.

    Would Jesse James have been more interesting? More risk, but possibly more upside?

  35. steele Says:

    Now can we please sign Carlos Dunlap, and either Suh or Sheldon Richardson?

  36. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Is it just me or does Kyle look a little scrawny? Do not see the 265 he played at before. Makes me wonder if he was half out the door to retirement. If it was a cheap enough deal, maybe they can bring in the fumbler Jared Cook as well.

  37. 1#bucsfan Says:

    This still doesn’t change my mind about gronk. Right now it’s Brate Rudolph and 2 rooks then come October maybe November here comes gronk out of retirement. Gronk Rudolph n Brate is a great TE group.

  38. DaBux Says:

    Love this signing. Experienced, decent blocker, good route runner. I hope Gronk gets well and doesn’t have life time issues.

  39. Allbuccedup Says:

    Best out there can block and catch.

  40. PassingThru Says:


    Then I seriously question your understanding of what you watched. First, no WR is triple covered in the NFL, that’s hyperbole as it would be suicide. Second, while Kupp was the best WR in football, OBJ wouldn’t be the WR1 on the Bucs either; Evans is the WR1. Evans will demand safety help, which will free up OBJ. When Godwin gets healthy which is also an unknown, defenses will have to pick their poison, which is what gave teams fits during the Buc season 2 years ago. If you watched the Bucs last season, you either didn’t notice or forgot how the offense stalled once Godwin went down and that was with having Gronk around. No Gronk, no one sane equates Gage with AB.

    The Rams offense markedly improved after signing OBJ astheir receiving options were limited after their WR2 Robert Woods got injured. The Bucs are in the same situation now, if not worse. The Rams are hesitant to sign OBJ as he won’t be a cheap date. The Rams are more constrainted than the vast majority of teams: too little cap space, few future high draft picks, lots of ver stars that will need to be extended or replaced. The Bucs are in a much better place to sign Beckham.

  41. BucBoy Says:

    Oh good, another day, another article on whether Gronk is coming back. :p

  42. SB~LV Says:

    Hugh Culverhouse
    Serviceable veteran

  43. #8 Says:


  44. Smashsquatch Says:

    Bucs add depth to a weak position group. Licht had to add another body before camp. Gronk would’ve signed had the the Bucs ponied up market value. Njoku getting $13M made that impossible. No chance the 4 time SB champ was going to subject his body to camp, 17 games, and playoffs on the cheap again. A late return makes sense for Gronk, Bucs, and Brady. I wouldn’t bet against that.

  45. Bucs Win Says:


  46. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Gronk forces the Bucs to do this. If he decides he wants to play again, he should go back to the Patriots. The Bucs can, and should, win it all without him.

  47. Duane Says:

    Ok pick up. He should be as serviceable as Brate this season. This offense was never built to feature the tight end. It was a nice facet to have to the offense during the SB run when you had the best ever to take advantage, but the strengths of this team is the receiving core, run game, and hopefully offensive line. If not having Gronk on this team is more of a hinderance than a speed bump, then why even assemble the team?

  48. Mike Says:

    A veteran TE who is a decent blocker and knows how to get open, with dependable hands? I’ll take it.

  49. SOEbuc Says:

    Might have lost Gronk but at least we have brought in another pro bowl TE with TB12 for the two rookies to listen and learn from. Welcome to Tampa Kyle.

  50. mark2001 Says:

    He was a fine player in his prime. Hope he has some juice left.

  51. David Says:

    Excellent. For those saying this is the answer? Yes, there’s nothing else out there. And in this offense, as far as receiving goes, he is plenty good enough. His blocking is average, may be above average. I believe the big rookie TE will be getting some blocking duties as well

  52. Your Mom Says:

    Maybe Gronk hoped to return mid-season, but Licht can’t give up half the season even if that were a sure thing. But it would have just been a hope anyway at best.

  53. MadMax Says:

    I dont know….we’ll see. He’s one of us now so Im def pulling for him to have his best year ever. But I still think we’re missing out not signing ODB jr.

  54. gotbbucs Says:

    Gronk will be missed in the Redbone for sure, but there sure were a lot of plays last year too in the middle of the field where Brady and Gronk just weren’t connecting anymore. Gronk wasn’t coming up with those over the shoulder fades like he used to and we wasted alot of 3rd downs on that wing and a prayer play.
    Rudolph is just a savvy vet option that needs to make a few plays throughout the year.
    The offense will be fine. I think not having Brady’s security blanket will force everyone else to step their game up knowing they have more opportunities.