Commanders

With TE Rudolph and Vikings parting ways, is he a fit in Washington?

Commanders

After 10 seasons together, the Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph are parting ways. The team released the veteran on Tuesday, and Rudolph took to Twitter to thank the organization for a memorable decade.

Within his writing, Rudolph noted that his time playing football is not complete. While he'll be moving on from the Vikings, he's not planning on calling it a career anytime soon.

"My career is my career, and I’m really excited about whatever is around the corner. I think I have a lot of good football still to play — and the fire inside of me to win a Super Bowl is burning as strong as ever," Rudolph said. "That’s the one big goal I have left."

So, a veteran tight end is now on the market. It just so happens that Washington should be in search of another weapon at that position. 

Yes, Logan Thomas was a great surprise for Washington in 2020 and will continue to be a part of the plan moving forward, but it would be beneficial for the unit to have more than just him. In a league where multiple tight end sets have become more prevalent, it would be wise of Washington to get it on that. No matter who is under center, the team could use another reliable pass-catcher to compliment Thomas, wide receiver Terry McLaurin and others.

The offense has struggled to produce with multiple tight ends in years' past due to the position group barely having one consistent option. Could Rudolph be the solution?

 

That, of course, is dependent on if Rudolph wants to come to Washington. If his goal is to get a Super Bowl as soon as possible, there are better short-term options out there. Yet, if he does consider Washington an option, the answer is still probably a no, largely because of Rudolph's skillset at this point in his career. 

Though the production has dropped off slightly for the two-time Pro Bowler as of late (28 receptions for 334 yards and one touchdown in 2020), he can still be a serviceable option on offense. Prior to 2020, he was coming off a three-year span in which he had 18 touchdowns.

However, his style of play isn't quite what Washington should be looking for. The offense would benefit from a younger, more versatile and athletic option that could potentially stretch the field. Think of someone similar to Gerald Everett or Jonnu Smith. Rudolph is solid at what he does, using his large frame to work the short parts of the field and be a presence in the end zone, but Thomas can do that too. 

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Having a tight end that could line up anywhere and serve as a potential big-play threat would better suit Washington as it tries to reach a new level on offense.

Of course, if Washington is unable to truly find the perfect candidate, Rudolph is a fine plan B or C. He's consistent, experienced and a great leader for the locker room. His character and work ethic fit the mold of the players Ron Rivera likes to have.

Rudolph in Washington isn't crazy, and maybe it's something that does end up working out. Washington shouldn't jump at it though, as there are other suitable options that could bring more to the offense.