New England Patriots

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: Tight end Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings makes a catch in front of defensive back Marqui Christian #41 of the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The free agency class in the NFL is adding an intriguing weapon, and he’s reportedly interested in coming to New England.

Veteran former Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph is interested in signing with the Patriots, according to NESN’s Doug Kyed. The Pats have tried to trade for Rudolph in the past, as they attempted to make a smoother transition out of the Rob Gronkowski era. Now they can get him on the open market after the Vikings released him on Tuesday.

As it stands in 2021, the Patriots have a little upside on the roster at tight end with 2020 third-round picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene. The latter projects as more of an H-back/fullback type, though, while Asiasi is more of a traditional tight end. But neither of them have come close to proving themselves as surefire starting TEs at the highest level.

Rudolph, meanwhile, has. He led all Vikings tight ends in snaps in 2020, despite playing only 12 games. He played between 78-92 percent of offensive snaps from 2015-20. He averaged 56 catches, 557 yards, and five touchdowns in that stretch.

At age 31 with a good-but-not-great Vikings career behind him, Rudolph would likely be a relatively affordable free agent. He’s certainly in the upper tiers of the market, but he won’t quite get Hunter Henry money. With the Patriots, he’d have a good chance of starting every game in 2021 while getting a competitive deal.

Check out more offensive options for the Patriots in free agency below.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at