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Bucs adding former Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph: reports

The 6-foot-6 veteran went to a pair of Pro Bowls while with the Vikings.
Veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph (80), who reportedly has signed a one-year deal with the Bucs, has recorded four seasons of at least 50 receptions.
Veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph (80), who reportedly has signed a one-year deal with the Bucs, has recorded four seasons of at least 50 receptions. [ ADAM HUNGER | AP ]
Published Jul. 21|Updated Jul. 21

The Bucs reportedly are signing veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph to a one-year deal, helping fill the void created by the recent retirement of Rob Gronkowski.

Both ESPN and the NFL Network reported late Wednesday the Bucs had added Rudolph, long targeted as a viable option for Tampa Bay in the post-Gronk era.

In an interview with Good Morning America that aired Wednesday morning, Gronkowski, who is currently a free agent, reiterated he plans to stay retired.

“I won’t go back to football,” he said. “I’m all set.”

Rudolph, who turns 33 in November, earned two Pro Bowl nods during his decade with the Vikings before a lackluster season with the Giants (26 catches, one touchdown) in 2021. His most productive season in Minnesota came in 2016, when he finished with a career-best 83 catches (on 132 targets) for 840 yards and seven touchdowns.

Considered a respectable — though not renowned — pass blocker, he arrives in Tampa Bay with 479 career catches for 4,745 yards and 49 touchdowns, with four seasons of at least 50 receptions. He has totaled only two TDs in the past two seasons.

He’ll join veteran Cameron Brate and practice-squad regular Codey McElroy as the only tight ends on the roster with an NFL catch to their name when training camp begins next Wednesday.

They’ll be joined by rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft, whom the Bucs drafted in the fourth and sixth rounds, respectively, in April. Undrafted rookies Ben Beise and JJ Howland round out the preseason tight-end room.

Bucs rookies report for camp Saturday.

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