Bedard: Tight ends start to hit the market, will Patriots have interest?

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Picking through the latest NFL news and how it may or may not relate to the Patriots.

We'll touch on some possible street free agent fits and rule changes, but we'll start with two tight ends — Kyle Rudolph (release), Delanie Walker (year off) — hitting the market.

TE Kyle Rudolph to be released by the Vikings

Two years ago, I tabbed Rudolph as the best option to replace Rob Gronkowski. I stand by that. He would have made the Patriots much better in 2019 with Tom Brady, and he wouldn't have hurt the cause in getting Brady to return. Even if Brady still did shove off for the pirate ship, Rudolph would have been a serious upgrade over anything the Patriots had at tight end. You can read the full write-up on him there. Basically, he would have been a much better player here with Brady than in Minnesota.

But that was when Rudolph was going to be 31. Now he's going to be 33. Does he still make sense?

There's one vital thing you have to remember when it comes to the Patriots and any type of free agents this spring (street or regular UFAs): the Patriots are