Former Tampa Bay Bucs tight end Kyle Rudolph is retiring from the National Football League. His 12-year career started in Minnesota, when the Vikings spent a second-round pick on the Notre Dame product, and ultimately ended in 2022 with Tampa.
Rudolph was added to the Buccaneers roster late last July as it seemed less and less likely fellow former Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski would be returning for a third season in the red and pewter. Though brought in to potentially lessen the drop-off at the position, post Gronk, Rudolph struggled to make the field and ultimately had a relatively unimpactful tenure with Tampa Bay.
Rudolph suited up for just 9 games, his lowest total since 2014. He was only targeted five times as a member of the Buccaneers. He reeled in three of his five passes, converting them into 28 yards gained and a touchdown reception— Rudolph’s 50th.
The 50th touchdown catch of Rudolph’s career was easily the most memorable play he made during his stint with Tampa Bay. In a game which would ultimately see Tampa pull its starters, Tom Brady and Kyle Rudolph took the field for a week 18 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. To cap off Tampa’s opening drive Brady rolled right and layed the ball in for Rudolph on a corner route for six.
Throughout his career, the former Notre Dame Golden Domer tallied an impressive 482 catches for 4,773 yards and 50 scores. Though he may not have had a memorable career with Tampa Bay, Rudolph’s career achievements would be coveted by most.
As for what Rudolph will be up to next— He told Peter King his post retirement plans include an entrance into the media.
“I played for so long and earned a veteran status… I’m a rookie [now] getting as many reps as I can in the media. The NBC job doing games on Peacock is cool. And talking about the storylines of the day in the NFL on Sunday nights will be cool too.”
The two-time Pro Bowl tight end, according to Jordan Schultz (as reported by SI.com), will be officially retiring as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. A fitting end to his career after having spent a decade in the purple and gold.
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