Kyle Rudolph Has an Unexpected New Gig

Kyle Rudolph Chooses the NFC's Super Bowl Frontrunner
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He adventured to the New York Giants in 2021 and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022, but longtime Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has an unexpected new gig — the commentary booth.

The Vikings drafted Rudolph in Round 2 of the NFL Draft 12 years ago, stabilizing the position in Minnesota for a decade.

Kyle Rudolph Has an Unexpected New Gig

Now, Rudolph will call USFL games along with folks like Colt McCoy, Cameron Jordan, and Jason Garrett. The USFL tweeted Friday:

Eleven USFL matchups will air on NBC, a handful on the USA Network, and all will be available on the Peacock streaming network.

Longtime Vikings TE Returns
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Rudolph, 33, played for the Vikings from 2011 to 2020, departing in free agency two years ago to join the Giants. In New York, Rudolph was underutilized, receiving just 39 targets in 2021 with an offense that would later undergo structural change. The Giants canned head coach Joe Judge after the 2021 season, opting for the services of Brian Daboll, who was the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills when Josh Allen rose to power. Those Giants knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs three months ago.

In Tampa Bay, Rudolph was hardly utilized. Playing in nine games while starting none, the Notre Dame alumnus was targeted just five times all season in a year that turned out to be Tom Brady’s last hurrah — and perhaps Rudolph’s.

Kyle Rudolph Has an
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All told in Minnesota, Rudolph grabbed 453 receptions for 4,488 yards and 49 touchdowns, nominating him as one of the Vikings best draft picks of the decade. Rudolph also caught the pass that walked off the New Orleans Saints in the 2019 postseason. He ranks 44th all-time in receiving yards by an NFL tight end and 14th all-time in receiving touchdowns by a tight end.

The USFL rebooted last year with eight teams: Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, Memphis Showboats, Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, New Orleans Breakers, Philadelphia Stars, and Pittsburgh Maulers.

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Last summer, Rudolph expressed interest in rejoining the Vikings before landing in Tampa Bay, speaking to KFAN’s Paull Allen, “It would definitely interest me. This is home for us. Certainly, it would make life a lot easier for my wife and four kids to stay in the house that we live in here. This place is extremely special to us. That organization is special to us.”

“To be able to come back and have an opportunity to play there again and fight to accomplish the only goal that I never accomplished as a Viking, win a championship, that would be great. But we’ll see,” Rudolph added.

He ultimately chose the Buccaneers for one season, but now Vikings fans can witness Rudolph in the booth. Rudolph’s game specifics have not yet been revealed.

Rudolph is the Vikings all-time leader in touchdowns by a tight end (48) and second in franchise history per TE receiving yards (4,488) to Steve Jordan (6,307), the father of the aforementioned Cameron Jordan.

The USFL season kicked off last weekend.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by