Can LA Rams snare TE Kyle Rudolph?
By Jay Blucher
The LA Rams are facing the expiration of multiple contracts of key players at the arrival of the new NFL season. The Rams free agency will open with the loss of up to 12 unrestricted free agents, one of who will likely be tight end Gerald Everett. Another tight end, blocking specialist Johnny Mundt, becomes a restricted free agent this upcoming season. The vacancy sign will soon be blinking for their replacement.
They also have a new quarterback in Matthew Stafford that just so happens to like throwing to his tight ends, particularly when he’s under pressure or duress (which frankly, was all 10 years he spent in a Detroit Lions uniform). So here’s the catch, will the Rams be good with just Tyler Higbee and Brycen Hopkins on the active roster?
Could the Rams possibly find a replacement and an upgrade for the position at the same time?
And suddenly here comes the news that 10-year veteran TE Kyle Rudolph has been released by the Minnesota Vikings, the team he’s spent his entire career with. Another salary-cap casualty, as the move shaved $5 million off the Vikes’ ledger.
Could the Rams use a sure-handed pass-catcher?
Well, Rudolph is the Top Dawg in that department.
When it comes to the go-to guy, Kyle Rudoph is it. Since 2017, he’s caught 188 of the 247 passes thrown his way. That’s good enough for a completion rate of 76.1 percent. That’s the very definition of sure-handed.
Put his photo next to the word “clutch” in the dictionary. He’s made a career of closing his mitts around the hotly contested 50-50 balls and he rarely drops the rock.
And he’s a bona fide big red-zone target, to boot. He’d instantly become a target for Stafford in that part of the field.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Rudolph played and started 12 games for the Vikes last season, snaring 28 catches for 334 yards and a touchdown. Before missing four games last season, the 31-year-old Rudolph had been a veritable iron man, starting every regular-season game for five consecutive seasons. (with a lotta highlight reel end-zone catches). When he plays, he plays. He routinely takes 75 percent of the offensive snaps or better.
Worst case scenario: The Rams snag a big-bodied red-zone target for Stafford. Stock up.