It’s Time To Move On From Kyle Rudolph

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Sometimes during the offseason, a team makes some splash free agent signings that never pan out. The Buccaneers, currently have two players that are falling into that category. Kyle Rudolph has quickly found himself as one of them.

Free Agency

When free agency opened up the buccaneers were immediately in the need to replace Rob Gronkowski’s stats at tight end. With Camron Brate still on the team the Buccaneers turned to the draft and grabbed two young players to come in and aid in the effort. Moreover, the Buccaneers signed Rudolph.

Rudolph, coming over from his one year in New York, has had a reputation as a reliable pass catcher who can contribute on any down with the ability to supplement targets in the red zone. Over the course of his career he has a 68% catch percentage, averages 6.7 yards a target, and a near zero drop percentage. It’s clear the Buccaneers brought him into compete for the target shares left by Gronkowski and having sure hands is one way to get a teams attention.

But at this point he sits fourth on the depth chart behind two rookies and Brate. Additionally, we are into week six and he has only two targets for one catch of 12 yards.

Time To Move On

Now Rudolph is not going to command anything substantial in a trade. That being said he can still be leveraged for a small incremental move. By seeking a trade the Buccaneers could offer Rudolph in exchange for swapping picks in the same round. Likely a late round, sixth or seventh, the Buccaneers could flip with a team that’s close to their position in the draft. Neither team losses or gains a pick and the Buccaneers move up a little while unloading Rudolph to a team in need of a tight end and veteran.

If they really wanted to move on from him the Buccaneers could flip the process and move back. The receiving team moves up, gets Rudolph, and the Buccaneers open a spot without ending up with paying a player they no longer have.

Trade Targets

The team the Buccaneers would have to target is a team that thinks they can compete this year and needs the help. The Arizona Cardinals, who expected to compete this year need tight end help. They have Zach Ertz as their primary contributor and he has not played that well. The Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Miami Dolphins are teams with a group of underachieving tight ends that may be open to a small trade.

Final Thought

Lastly they could just cut him and stand with the dead money. He’s only on contract this year with a base of 1.5 million dollars and a signing bonus of 500 thousand dollars. There are familiar options to the Buccaneers if they desire a fourth tight end. Bug Howard, a training camp player who showed some flashes and Codey McElroy are still free agents and can contribute as much as Rudolph has done so far.

Either way he’s taking up a spot that could be used for more pressing needs. I would like to see another offensive or defensive linemen on the 53-man roster.

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