With the trade rumors that are currently surrounding Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, one of the more frequently mentioned potential destinations has been the New England Patriots. With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski this offseason, it seemed logical that Rudolph would potentially slot into that role, and those rumors have picked up steam with the news that Ben Watson would be suspended for the first four games of the season and the team releasing veteran Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Now, Rudolph wouldn’t “replace” Gronkowski. . .it’s not like anybody’s just going to replace that guy. It does sounds like there has been some interest there, but Adam Schefter of ESPN apparently doesn’t expect anything to happen.
Here’s what Schefter told Boston radio station WEEI earlier this week:
“I think that (the Patriots) have had conversations with the Vikings and I think the Vikings have wanted too much,” Schefter said Friday on “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria, as transcribed by WEEI. “I think that unless the Vikings’ stance changes, the Patriots aren’t about to give up a premium pick, and I don’t mean a first-round pick, a premium pick for a guy going into the last year of his contract at this time. If Minnesota changes its mind and is like, ‘You know what we like Irv Smith. He’s looked good in camp.’ … Then they could move on from Kyle Rudolph. But, Minnesota is trying to win this year and Minnesota feels like it has a pretty good team. Today, on June 7, I would say they would not be inclined to move him.”
Again, the Vikings don’t necessarily have to move Rudolph. However, at some point they do need to do something to open up some cap space for any contingencies that might arise during the season.
Rudolph is still a pretty solid tight end, so the Vikings shouldn’t just be giving him away or anything. But, whatever price they’re currently asking, it sounds like it was too rich for Bill Belichick and company to meet. Will the price change in the future? We don’t know, but we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on things.