While the Cincinnati Bengals have many needs to address, tight end is one of their more under-the-radar needs heading into the 2021 season.
As of now, the main guy is C.J. Uzomah, but he’s coming off a torn Achilles, one of the toughest injuries a professional athlete can have. Even if he’s ready for Week 1, he’s likely going to take a step back from a guy that was already just an above-average player.
Former second-round pick Drew Sample has shown flashes, but he’s still not someone you can feel good about being a full-time starter.
Unfortunately, this year’s tight end market is drying up fast, and that continued today with Kyle Rudolph signing with the New York Giants, per ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.
Former Vikings' TE Kyle Rudolph reached agreement with the New York Giants.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2021
Rudolph, a Cincinnati native who played collegiately at Notre Dame, has spent his entire 10-year career with the Minnesota Vikings, where he caught 453 passes for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns across 140 games.
However, Rudolph has just 85 grabs for 701 yards and seven scores over the last two seasons. While not great, Uzomah does have just one season which he had more than 234 receiving yards, so even an aging Rudolph would likely be a solid and very affordable upgrade.
There is possibly some good news to come from this, however, as the Bengals and Giants are battling for the services of Pro Bowl wide receiver Kenny Golladay. The Giants only have about $6 million in cap space at the moment, so the addition of Rudolph will in theory make it harder to sign Golladay.