Could TE Kyle Rudolph be a good Patriots fit in their post-Rob Gronkowski world?

Sometimes, a player-team fit seems too perfect.

The New England Patriots need a tight end after Rob Gronkowski’s retirement. The Minnesota Vikings seem determined to move on from Kyle Rudolph. There shouldn’t be any surprise that the Patriots have had “some discussion” with the Vikings about Rudolph, according to Michael Giardi of NFL Network.

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And with that, Patriots haters groan, knowing the pairing fits so well, and the Vikings are likely to sell at a lower price than Rudolph should get.

Kyle Rudolph won’t take a pay cut

Rudolph is in the final year of his contract with the Vikings, and refuses to take a pay cut. He is slated to make $7.275 million, and the Vikings need to free up cap space.

Still, the Vikings should consider themselves a contender if everything falls right, and it would hurt to sell low on Rudolph. Usually teams can get creative with the cap to clear space, in ways that don’t include dumping a two-time Pro Bowl player in his prime.

Rudolph is 29 years old, coming off a 634-yard season. He has 41 career touchdowns in eight seasons. Rudolph is not Gronkowski, but he is a viable tight end. And the Patriots could use that.

Could Patriots make a trade?

New England has excelled at acquiring veterans for cheap, and getting a lot from them before they move on. Getting offensive tackle Trent Brown from the 49ers last offseason is a great example.

We don’t know how serious the Patriots are about getting Rudolph, but it would make sense. Rudolph would seem to be a good fit for New England’s offense. Even if he can’t do many of the things Gronkowski could, he’s still a quality target, especially in the red zone.

The Patriots are always examining options, and trying to find a good deal. Making a run at Rudolph, if the Vikings follow through and trade him, would be a typical Patriots move.

Minnesota Vikings' Kyle Rudolph said he will not take a pay cut. (AP)
Minnesota Vikings' Kyle Rudolph said he will not take a pay cut. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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