Now that the two-time Pro Bowler is up for grabs, the next question is where he’ll end up in 2021. According to Cleveland.com, Rudolph already has a frontrunner in his free agency process. Sources say the TE “would love” to play for his former coach Kevin Stefanski in Cleveland.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 3, 2021
Through nine years together in Minnesota, Stefanski coached Rudolph from multiple positions (including tight ends coach 2014-15). According to Cleveland.com’s sources, the two had developed a strong relationship during their shared Vikings tenures. With Stefanski running the Minnesota offense in 2019, Rudolph could make a smooth transition to the up-and-coming Browns team in 2021.
While this move makes plenty of sense from a player-coach dynamic standpoint, it really doesn’t make much sense personnel-wise. If there’s any position the Browns need to beef up, it’s certainly not at tight end. Cleveland currently have three solid TE options in Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant and David Njoku.
But, speculation about Njoku’s discontent with the Browns franchise has been swirling for years now. As he enters the fifth-year player option of his six-year contract, Cleveland could cut the fourth-year tight end before the start of the league year on Mar. 17 with no dead cap space.
If the front office decides to go this route, Rudolph could be a fantastic veteran presence for second-year rising star Harrison Bryant.
Where will Rudolph land in 2021?