Former Bucs player appears to end NFL career to become Big Ten broadcaster

Miami Dolphins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Miami Dolphins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare to enter training camp and figure out what this season is going to look like on the field, one player who was here last year is setting his sights elsewhere this fall.

Among the players who exited stage left this offseason, many have found work that will occupy them this fall. Guys like Mike Edwards and Blaine Gabbert headed to Kansas City to join the Chiefs while Keanu Neal signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Sean Murphy-Bunting inked a deal with the Tennessee Titans.

Not everyone has found work yet, though. Leonard Fournette remains a free agent as does kicker Ryan Succop. Tom Brady retired and joined two Las Vegas sports ownership groups — the Aces and Raiders — but seemingly backed out of a deal to become a to color analyst for FOX.

One former Buccaneers player has done the opposite. While it’s not a gig with FOX, Kyle Rudolph is making to leap from the field to the announcing booth thanks to one connections at NBC and his alama mater.

Former Buccaneers tight end is transitioning into a broadcasting career

Tucked away in a broader piece about Notre Dame’s relationship with NBC and the Big Ten was a tidbit about how Kyle Rudolph is transitioning into becoming a broadcaster.

“Rudolph said he’ll call select Big Ten games for NBC this fall, steps toward a life after playing football. It’s the kind of path Notre Dame wants designed. It’s one NBC hopes to pave,” wrote Pete Sampson.

Nothing has officially been announced by NBC, but it makes sense that the broadcasting teams would be growing given the bigger investment in Big Ten football the network is making. It also makes sense that another former Notre Dame player is getting his foot in the door of a new career.

“One-hundred percent. It was without question the reason why,” Rudolph said. “I’m an anomaly, played 12 years in the NFL before starting my next chapter, but Notre Dame was still there opening doors and giving me opportunities.”

Rudolph joins other Notre Dame alumni like Brady Quinn and Tony Dungy who got a shot at trying their hand at broadcasting at NBC.

If this is indeed true, and there’s no reason to believe it’s not, then it would essentially signal the end of Rudolph’s career. He hasn’t officially retired yet, but he’ll be 34 years old in November and has already put in a dozen years in the NFL. Rudolph could return, but it wouldn’t be until the 2024 season when he’s even older and a year removed from playing.