Is Kyle Rudolph Really A Lock?

August 27th, 2022

How secure is he?

Joe was like most Bucs fans who lifted a pint of Big Storm Beer in the air to toast the signing of former Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph just before training camp began.

And while Joe is happy Rudolph is with the Bucs, Joe is beginning to wonder if the Bucs keep four tight ends?

There is No. 1 tight end Cam Brate, rookie Cade Otton, who Joe predicts no later than next year will be the Bucs’ starting tight end, and could Ko Kieft be the No. 3 tight end?

Rudolph hasn’t played badly or practiced badly. Maybe Joe was just spoiled by foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski, or maybe Joe was expecting the same tight end who torched teams with the Vikings. But Rudolph, more often than not, looks just eh.

Kieft, on the other hand, impresses Joe and Joe believes he is more of a weapon in the passing game than most people believed or realized for a sixth-round draft pick.

The way Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht gushed about Kieft while appearing on the WFLA-TV Channel 8 broadcast Saturday night, when asked about the Minnesota product, you tell Joe if it doesn’t sound like Kieft will be on the final-53?

“[Minnesota coach] P.J. Fleck had talked about how tough he is,” Licht began when asked about Kieft. “He is exactly how you want a football player wired for a guy that is going to be butting heads and blocking most of his career. He’s just a street fighter.

“He’s actually not a bad athlete. He can catch the ball. We can use him out of the backfield a little bit. He’s just very tough, strong, intense. I think he is going to do some good things for us.”

At least to Joe, that sure doesn’t sound like a guy Licht is going to kick to the curb in the next three days.

In his remarks following the game, Todd Bowles seems to think the Bucs are still in need of a gunner or two on the punt team, whether that is a running back, a receiver or a defensive back. When asked for a brief overview of current Bucs players who tried out as gunners, Bowles’ assessment of their play was “not consistently.”

So it smells like the Bucs will sift through the hundreds of players hitting the streets soon to look for a gunner. And will that affect how many receivers or tight ends the Bucs carry into the season?

Would the Bucs actually sever ties with a guy like Rudolph who Tom Brady personally recruited?

The next few days will be very interesting to Joe.

29 Responses to “Is Kyle Rudolph Really A Lock?”

  1. CrackWise Says:


    You guys are MONEY!!!

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Doesn’t Rudolph have a guaranteed salary?

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    $2 mil

  4. Joe Says:

    Thank you Crack!

  5. RPK Says:

    Rudolph has been garbage!

  6. Buc1987 Says:

    Go Ko Go!!!

    Many of us fans are rooting for you dude!!!

  7. CrackWise Says:


    Its CrackWISE…… For the record, not Crack, nothing to do with HUNTER B.

    The challenge is to understand what it means to be WISE

    THUS, Crack-WISE

    Should I change my name again?

    Retired Names Include:
    1. GotABuc
    2. WhoCares
    3. LetsRoll
    4. JAB83.
    5. I can’t remember but I have been here since DAY 1 and you know this dag nab it.

    But yeah, much appreciated on the appreciation shout out. Thats what makes use guys special!!!

    Now, how about that IRA Podcast and getting him involved in the chats????

    At least turn his old lady loose on us in the chats. She can be JBFs Miko Grimes!!!

  8. Bucanero Says:

    OK points were made, he’ll make the 53. Think of Ko as a FB/TE

  9. CrackWise Says:

    Come on, that was funny, dont pull that post too. I know I was a bad boy posting streaming links earlier.

    I love Ira and his beautiful wife.

    This is FAMILY, FUN and FOOTBALL

  10. PassingThru Says:

    I had a feeling he was either washed or close. You can write off his performance last season as he was with the Giants and Daniel Jones. But the decline preceded that, while he was with Minnesota. Cousins may not be elite, but he isn’t shy from throwing the football.

  11. CrackWise Says:

    At least let me know what I cant say, I understand fearing the BIG G

  12. CrackWise Says:

    Big G/Big Brother

  13. CrackWise Says:

    Kieffer KO #41 is a lock, he has the coaching staff all choked up.

    Dude is gonna ROCK out of the backfield this year for the leagues #1 RUSHING ATTACK.

    Please tell me how to bet on that FACT!!!

  14. Buc92’ Says:

    Rudolph is washed up with dead legs , don’t care if Brady recruited him he has to go


  15. BucsBlood Says:

    So where does Howland land? PS? The kid has had the longest recpts in both games he played in. Rudolph out? Or Ko moved to make room?

  16. Darin Says:

    Like I said when he was signed and most said he was gonna be like gronk…let’s see if he makes the team first. So let’s see still

  17. Fan since.. Says:

    Huh-Howland right now is the TE most like Gronk. He’s quick and gets open. Let’s hope they don’t cut him loose-gonna need him when Rudi goes down

  18. BucsBlood Says:

    Hardly gave him play time tonight tho. Probably not a great sign unfortunately

  19. robert ethan Says:

    I’m in the Howland camp. Have been ever since I checked him out when he signed. He’s bigger, faster, smarter, and more versatile than Klieft.

  20. J Ghotier Says:

    I’ve been asking myself the same question internally lately

  21. Red86 Says:

    Ko is staying. Our run game struggled early in the game. Then, Ko “The Red Beard” Kief aggressive and intelligent blocking open up some big gains. Raachard White definitely trust Red Beard by patiently following his lead. Ko is playing confidently and quick with his decisions. I can see him being a play action threat this year.

  22. adam from ny Says:

    we had alan cross a few years back…and now we have ko…

    the closest thing we had to ko in recent years was cross…

    yet ko might turn out to be much better…or at least has the potential to be much better

  23. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Winny isn’t always right ( please excuse the 3rd person reference and “I told you so” vibe )…but he’s rarely in doubt. Rudolph is washed folks…had a very good career but is thin, not fast and just done.

  24. Bucs Win Says:

    41 has been smashing dudes.

  25. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Rudolph was a knee jerk reaction to Gronk not being here. Rudolph is not the player he was but can block. I think the Bucs keep him if for nothing else os guaranteed salary

  26. Joe Says:

    Rudolph was a knee jerk reaction to Gronk not being here.

    Wouldn/t say “knee jerk.” Brady has been selling him on the Bucs for a year.

  27. Pete’87 Says:

    Well you need a Gronk and Rudolph and otton ain’t it! Find a way to keep Howland

  28. Lkld Gene Says:

    Later this week – Rudolph mysteriously gets hurt and Gronk triumphantly returns to practice!!!

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    He wasn’t my choice, but if the rumors about his salary are correct, then yes, he’s a lock, because they gave him guaranteed money and have almost no cap space to play with. But we shall see, I think it’s solely about his contract – but if he’s not owed anything if doesn’t make the team, then I won’t be shocked if he’s gone.