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Kyle Rudolph: Free agent deal with Giants came together quickly

Giants new tight end says he always wants to be “extremely reliable”

NFL: Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings
Kyle Rudolph
David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end Kyle Rudolph said Monday morning on Sirius XM NFL Radio that he did not hear from the New York Giants for a couple of weeks after his March 2 release after 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

Once he did, last Thursday morning, a deal was quickly reached.

“[The Giants] went from not in the picture at all to, hey, this is a place that I really believe in, I really would be excited to go join,” Rudolph told co-hosts Bob Papa and Charlie Weis. “Fast forward from that point, 12 hours later we had a deal done.”

That deal was for two years and up to $12 million, with $4.5 million guaranteed.

The Giants hope that Rudolph, who has not dropped a pass since the 2018 season and has 453 career receptions, can be a useful target for Daniel Jones and an asset as a blocker.

Rudolph caught a career-high 83 passes for Minnesota in 2016, but has not been used as much as a pass-catcher in recent seasons. He had only 28 receptions on 37 targets over 12 games in 2020.

“One thing I have learned over the past couple of years not being as involved in the pass game is how to contribute in the run game, how to contribute in pass protection. Giants fans are going to be getting someone who can help Saquon [Barkley] and help in the run game, who can also help protect Daniel [Jones] in certain situations,” rudolph said.

“I try to always be extremely reliable in the pass game. When my number’s called, when my quarterback has the trust in me to throw the football I’m going to make sure I execute and catch the ball.”

Rudolph said he was sold on the Giants after a conversation on Thursday with coach Joe Judge.

“One of the lines that he said that really resonated with me was overachievers aren’t OK with mediocrity. I want to surround myself with a bunch of overachievers,” Rudolph said. “I’ve always looked at myself as someone that tries to work harder than the next guy and be an overachiever. That really resonated with me. That’s something I want to be a part of.”