The New York Giants surprisingly signed TE Kyle Rudolph to a two-year, $12 million deal, including $4.5 million and guaranteed money this offseason. The former second-round pick in 2011 has spent his entire career with Minnesota but is now making the transition to New York, where he will play a significant part in the Giants’ offense this upcoming season.
However, when Big Blue originally signed Rudolph, they discovered a foot injury that nearly ruined the deal. Nonetheless, Rudolph is on pace to start Week 1 alongside Evan Engram as the primary tight ends.
“I was extremely fortunate the Giants medical staff was able to find this in March and it isn’t something where I came back here all fired up for OTAs in June and then hurt myself and put myself at risk for missing football games,” Rudolph said, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.
Rudolph stated he “won’t miss any football,” which is a great reality for the Giants as they prepare to ramp up in the coming weeks.
Coordinator Jason Garrett loves to utilize 12 personnel as a primary scheme, focusing on running the football and pushing the field vertically. The Giants, with two vastly different TEs regarding their qualities, can use Engram as a deep threat while allowing Rudolph to operate in the middle of the field.
Engram was connected to six interceptions last year, dropping 11 passes. The majority of his issues took place within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage directly in the middle of the field, where Rudolph will take over. The former Viking hasn’t dropped a pass in over two years, indicating consistency and stellar hands in the receiving game.
In fact, Bleacher Report pegged Rudolph as one of the most underrated signings this off-season, stating:
A 31-year-old Kyle Rudolph didn’t make a ton of noise when inking a two-year deal with the New York Giants, especially when compared to bigger names at his position, like Hunter Henry.
But Rudolph is a critical addition for a Giants team going all-in around developmental quarterback Daniel Jones. He’ll join a cast of weapons that includes fellow tight end Evan Engram, free-agent prize Kenny Golladay and 2021 first-round receiver Kadarius Toney.
Over 12 games last year, Rudolph had a quiet end to his decade-long stint in Minnesota, recording just 334 yards and one touchdown. But he had scored six or more times in three of the four seasons prior to that while ranking as the thirdish option in a mostly run-based attack.
This isn’t to suggest Rudolph will swing the pendulum much in the win column for the Giants. But there’s something bigger at stake for New York next season: guaranteeing a proper developmental curve for Jones that leads to reaching a high ceiling.