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2021 NFL Free Agency: Buffalo Bills were interested in TE Kyle Rudolph

The veteran TE instead signed a two-year deal with the Giants.

Searching for ways to bolster their tight ends, the Buffalo Bills have been connected to several veterans this offseason, including Kyle Rudolph, who recently signed a two-year deal with the New York Giants.

According to Mike Silver with the NFL Network, the Bills were one of four teams also in on the pursuit of Rudolph, along with the Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina Panthers.

Rudolph, a two-time Pro Bowl selection with the Minnesota Vikings, opted instead to sign with the Giants. Per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, Rudolph’s contract will earn him a base salary of $2.5 million in 2021 and $5 million in 2022, with a $4.5 million signing bonus and up to $1 million in incentives.

Rudolph, 31, would have immediately upgraded Buffalo’s tight ends, who collectively ranked 31st in the NFL in both receiving yards (458) and receptions (42) in 2020. Rudolph caught 28 passes for 334 yards with one touchdown last year and has 453 career catches for 4,488 yards with 48 TDs since the Vikings selected him in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. His best season was in 2016, when he caught 83 passes for 840 yards with seven TDs.

Currently, Buffalo’s tight ends are led by third-year player Dawson Knox, who had 24 receptions for 288 yards and three touchdowns last season. With veteran Lee Smith being traded to the Atlanta Falcons, the Bills currently only have Knox, Tommy Sweeney, Nate Becker and Reggie Gilliam under contract.

The Bills have also been linked as a trade partner with the Philadelphia Eagles for veteran tight end Zach Ertz.