Kyle Rudolph reportedly may become available via trade, which should interest Patriots

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By WEEI 93.7

FOXBORO -- Following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots tight ends depth is lacking considering he officially retired in the middle of free agency and the team did not draft one.

But, one dependable NFL veteran may soon become available.

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the Vikings have had contract talks with Kyle Rudolph, but those broke off Friday morning. The report adds with the team drafting Irv Smith Jr. and Rudolph being due $7.5 million this season, he could potentially be traded.

The 29-year-old finished last season with 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns. He's spent all eight years of his NFL career in Minnesota with his best year coming in 2016 when he totaled 83 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns.

With the current Patriots depth at tight end (Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Watson, Stephen Anderson, Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck), the need is certainly there at the position as he would likely be the No. 1 guy if he joined today.

It's also worth noting the team isn't very financially committed to any of the tight ends on the roster, so any one of them could be potentially released over the summer.

While the Patriots have not been connected to Rudolph yet, file it under something to watch in the coming days and weeks.