Chargers Free Agency

Reasons for and against the LA Chargers pursuing Kyle Rudolph

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The reasons against the LA Chargers pursuing Kyle Rudolph:

His age and production

There is a reason why the Minnesota Vikings released Rudolph in the first place. Sure, most of the reasoning was driven by money, but the team was also comfortable releasing him as his production has waned in recent seasons.

Rudolph is entering his age 32 season and all arrows are pointing down. At his age, it is very rare for a skill position player to suddenly flip the switch and conduct a complete 180 on his career trajectory.

He struggles to get as open and cannot be used in as many route trees. Last season, he was targeted only 37 times, making 28 receptions for 334 yards and one touchdown. He has not had a 500-yard season since 2018 and even when he was at his best, he was not elite.

He has one season with more than 700 receiving yards in his career.

He is not a good blocker

You could make the case for bringing in Rudolph despite his regressing receiving numbers if he was a good blocker. Virgil Gren was not a receiving threat in the slightest but his blocking got him a roster spot in LA.

Rudolph is not a good blocker. While it is not a fail-proof metric, Pro Football Focus‘ blocking grades help illustrate that reality.

Rudolph has posted a run-blocking grade in the 50s in each of the last five seasons. His pass-blocking numbers are okay, but for tight ends, run-blocking is far more important.

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