What Kyle Rudolph’s Giants contract really means for Evan Engram

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“Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”

This line was said by Chico, not Groucho Marx, in “Duck Soup,” and it might as well resurface when some of these NFL contracts get released by the agents, who draw them up with teams and get their players to sign off on them. 

It was understandable that Giants fans wondered about the effect on Evan Engram when another tight end, Kyle Rudolph, agreed to terms Thursday on what was first leaked as a two-year deal worth $16 million. At $8 million bucks a year for the 31-year old Rudolph, it was natural to speculate he was signed to replace Engram, a talented but inconsistent 2017 first-round pick who is on the books for $6 million in 2021 after the Giants picked up his fifth-year option. Rudolph costing more than Engram seemed to indicate Rudolph was now TE1, and Engram might get traded away.

Nope.

The Post reported Rudolph’s contract is a two-year deal worth up to $14 million and this is accurate. As usual, though, the devil is in the details. Rudolph actually counts only $4.75 million on the salary cap this year, a figure perfectly in line for a 10-year veteran with two Pro Bowls on his resume. Rudolph is not the player he was earlier in his time with the Vikings, but the Giants believe he has enough left to serve as a strong blocker, reliable pass-catcher and, importantly, an ungraded red-zone threat for their offense.

Rudolph’s base salary for 2021 is $2.5 million and he receives a signing bonus of $4.5 million. His base salary in 2022 is $5 million. He can earn $1 million in incentives each year. 

Engram stays as TE1. Rudolph arrives as TE2.

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