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    Packers Linked to Former Vikings Pro-Bowl Pass Catcher in Free Agency


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    Head coach Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers talks to Aaron Rodgers #12 during the fourth quarter of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

    The Green Bay Packers have some questions at tight end and a long-time rival is on the short list of possible answers.

    Robert Tonyan is currently atop Green Bay’s depth chart at the position but tore his ACL in a Week 8 win over the Arizona Cardinals. His production to that point had been mediocre at best following a career year in 2020, when he amassed nearly 600 receiving yards on 52 catches and scored 11 touchdowns. Tonyan exited the 2021 season just shy of its halfway point with a total of only 18 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference.

    The Packers re-signed Tonyan to a one-year deal worth $3.75 million this offseason, per Spotrac. But with questions surrounding Tonyan’s health and only one truly productive year in four NFL seasons, not to mention a cavalcade of unproven and over-the-hill options backing him up, Green Bay is in the market for another quality tight end.

    One of the most viable options still available to the Packers in free agency is former Minnesota Vikings pass catcher Kyle Rudolph.

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    Rudolph Could Experience Resurgence Alongside QB Aaron Rodgers

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    GettyTight end Kyle Rudolph, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, makes a two-point conversion against Chidobe Awuzie of the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter of a game at AT&T Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Rudolph struggled last season, his first year in 11 playing with a team other than the Vikings. Unfortunately for Rudolph, that team was the New York Giants and his quarterbacks were primarily Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon.

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    Predictably, Rudolph posted poor stats in 2021, amassing just 257 yards on 26 catches and finding the end zone only once. However, he remains a starting-caliber tight end after drawing 13 starts for the Giants last year, and his production would almost certainly increase were he to start catching passes from four-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

    Rudolph also struggled a bit in 2020, his last season in Minnesota, though injuries knocked him out for a quarter of the season. Over the course of his career, Rudolph has scored 49 touchdowns, caught nearly 500 passes and recorded upwards of 5,000 receiving yards.

    He’s also been durable, appearing in 156 games over his 11-year NFL career and starting 145 of those. Rudolph has appeared in fewer than 10 games in a season only twice, the most recent occurrence coming in 2014.

    Rudolph was also a two-time Pro Bowl selection with the Vikings, earning that honor in 2012 and again in 2017.


    Packers Interested in Trading For Raiders Tight End Darren Waller

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    GettyTight end Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders warms up before a game against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    It is no secret that the Packers want to get in the game for Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller. They would have to pull that off via a trade, though the Raiders don’t appear inclined to deal their Pro Bowler at the moment.

    Michelle Burton of Bleacher Report suggested in a piece published Sunday, May 1, that Rudolph makes sense as a play for Green Bay if they can’t figure out a way to secure Waller’s services before the start of next season.

    The … Packers were hoping to trade for Waller during this year’s draft. However, Waller himself shot that down on Wednesday, telling CBS Sports Radio’s Zach Gelb he had spoken with the Raiders, who told him “…there’s no trade that’s going to happen.”

    If the Packers are [still] looking to add to their tight end group, veteran Kyle Rudolph is still on the market.

    The Packers and their rivals to the west frequently sign each other’s former players. In this case, Green Bay has had a front-row seat to scouting the 32-year-old for years, and his knowledge of the Minnesota Vikings’ offense certainly wouldn’t hurt to have.

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