Falcons: No thank you, Kyle Rudolph

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Hayden Hurst is currently the only tight end on the Falcons’ payroll in 2021, which means Terry Fontenot will surely bring in at least two more through the draft or free agency. Preferably, he dips into free agency for someone like Anthony Firkser or Mo Alie-Cox, but aging veterans who can’t stay healthy shouldn’t even be on the Falcons’ radar. According to Adam Schefter, the Minnesota Vikings recently released veteran tight end, Kyle Rudolph — to which I say, no, thank you.

The former Notre Dame tight end was set to earn a $7.65 million base salary this season and count $9.45 million against the Vikings’ salary cap. Rudolph signed a four-year, $36 million contract extension before the 2019 season and still had three years left on his deal. The Vikings save $5 million in cap space by cutting him.

In 2020, the 31-year-old missed four games and experienced his worst year since entering the league, catching 28 balls for 334 yards. Rudolph has been declining since 2018, so I have no reasoning for Rick Spielman handing out that contract extension, but this isn’t a surprise.

I could sell him as a red zone threat and not much more than that. His impressive drop rate is second-to-none in catchable passes. He will surely be valuable for a team who needs a situational red-zone target, but Fontenot doesn’t have the luxury.


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Photographer: Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire

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