Patriots have reportedly had talks with the Vikings about a potential Kyle Rudolph trade
The Patriots apparently are still looking for Rob Gronkowski's replacement
The New England Patriots have been pretty busy when it comes to adding tight ends this offseason and it appears they might not be quite done yet.
According to Sports Illustrated, the Patriots have had talks with the Vikings about a potential trade for Kyle Rudolph. Although the report doesn't state when the talks occurred or how serious the two sides got, it's worth noting because a deal could potentially be good for both sides: The Patriots still have a need at tight end and the Vikings could use the salary cap relief that would come with trading Rudolph.
With Rudolph set to count roughly $7.6 million against the salary cap this year, there's been a lot of speculation that the Vikings might look to cut or trade him in order to save some money. Out of those two options, a trade would obviously be better for the Vikings because they would actually get something in return for the two-time Pro Bowler.
For Minnesota, getting rid of Rudolph would solve a lot of financial problems. As things currently stand, the Vikings have less than $700,000 in salary cap space, which is the lowest number in the NFL. The team's cap situation is so dire that the Vikings had to restructure Eric Kendricks' contract just so they would have enough cap room to get a rookie deal done with first-round pick Garrett Bradbury.
If they end up cutting or trading Rudolph, they'll have some breathing room under the cap with more than $8 million available.
Rudolph and the Vikings had been working on a possible extension that would cut down on his cap hit for the upcoming season, but those talks fell apart on May 10. The Vikings had been hoping that Rudolph might be willing to take a pay cut, but .
"No I won't, I am too young for that," Rudolph said.
For the Patriots, adding Rudolph to the roster would potentially go a long way toward replacing Rob Gronkowski. Since , the Patriots have added multiple tight ends in Ben Watson, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Matt LaCosse and undrafted free agent Andrew Beck, but it's not clear if any of those guys can be an adequate replacement for Gronk.
Although Rudolph doesn't block as well as Gronk -- there aren't many tight ends who can -- he did put up similar numbers in the receiving game. In 2018, Rudolph caught 64 passes for 634 yards and four touchdowns while Gronk caught 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns.
If the Vikings do end up trading Rudolph, our Sean Wagner-McGough made a list of the six best potential landing spots for the tight end and you can check those out by clicking here.
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