Patriots Inquired On Bucs’ O.J. Howard

The Patriots inquired on Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard, Albert Breer of The MMQB hears. However, they were rebuffed – the Bucs say they’re keeping him, which jibes with what we heard last week

The Patriots learned that they may be forced to place Matt LaCosse on injured reserve, which led them to (another) reunion with veteran Ben Watson. Watson may still have something left in the tank, but he does not offer the athleticism and upside of Howard, a former first-round pick who has flashed major potential in the past.

The Bucs’ refusal to trade Howard is understandable, but still confusing to some – new head coach Bruce Arians has yet to make him a true focal point of the offense and he has just 13 catches for 176 yards so far this year, with no touchdowns. In six games, Howard has been targeted an average of three times, down from nearly five targets per game in 2018.

With eight days to go before the trade deadline, it sounds like the Patriots will continue to look for tight end help. In the meantime, they’ll work with what they’ve got as they get set to face the Jets tonight.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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