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How and why Kyle Rudolph signed with the Giants

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph and Giants

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph and Giants quarterback Eli Manning at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It took three long days of meetings, examinations, conversations and negotiations for the Giants to sign wide receiver Kenny Golladay over the weekend. The team is in its second day of a similar visit with free-agent cornerback Adoree’ Jackson on Monday. The Giants are taking their time and being very deliberate when it comes to their biggest targets this offseason.

Well, mostly. One of their key signings actually came together very quickly.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph, who agreed to a two-year deal with the team last week, said on SiriusXM’s NFL Radio on Monday morning that his courtship with the Giants was a whirlwind that came out of nowhere.

Rudolph said since his release two weeks ago from the Vikings after 10 seasons in Minnesota, he would check in with his agents on a daily basis to see which teams were interested in signing him and get advice on what steps should be taken next.

"We didn’t hear much from Giants at all in the beginning," Rudolph said.

In fact it wasn’t until last Thursday morning that he woke up to a message from his agents: "What about the Giants?"

They’d reached out late on Wednesday night. That Thursday, Rudolph spoke with head coach Joe Judge.

"Twelve hours later we had a deal done and I’m coming to Jersey," he said of the two-year contract he’ll sign on Monday. "They went from not in the picture at all to, hey, this is a place I really believe in and I really would be excited to go join."

Rudolph has played a number of roles with the Vikings, from a focal point in the passing game that earned him a pair of Pro Bowl invites to more of a blocker in recent seasons.

"Giants fans are getting someone who can help Saquon [Barkley] and help in the run game, who can also help protect Daniel [Jones] in certain situations," he said.

As for catching passes, the 31-year-old said: "When the quarterback has the trust in me to throw me the football I want to make sure I execute."

Rudolph said he spoke with coordinator Jason Garrett about the offense and the pieces the team was putting together, but it was the talk with Judge that really sold him.

"One of the things that stuck out to me immediately was his work ethic and his drive for the game," Rudolph said of Judge. "One line that resonated with me was ‘Overachievers aren’t OK with mediocrity. I want to surround myself with a bunch of overachievers.’ I’ve always looked at myself as someone who tries to work harder than the next guy and be an overachiever. That really resonated with me and it’s something I want to be a part of."

New York Sports