Bucs Nearly Traded O.J. Howard For Trent Williams

Now that Rob Gronkowski has joined Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, incumbent Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard has become an even more obvious trade candidate than he previously was. Turns, out, the Bucs already tried to deal him earlier this year.

Two months ago, Tampa Bay nearly traded Howard to the Redskins in exchange for offensive tackle Trent Williams, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. It’s unclear if the proposed swap would have involved other players or draft picks, but in either case, the deal fell through.

Williams, of course, has been on the trade block for some time, and may still be moved this week. Had Tampa Bay been able to acquire him, Williams almost surely would have taken over at left tackle, allowing the Buccaneers to move Donovan Smith to the right side and improving their offensive line in one fell swoop.

Notably, talks involving Howard and the Redskins occurred before Brady decided on Tampa Bay and before Gronkowski came out of retirement to join him. That’s perhaps not altogether surprising, as Howard was reportedly available since the 2019 trade deadline. But a Howard deal makes all the more sense now given that Gronk has made his way to the Buccaneers.

Howard, who’s posted 34 receptions in each of the past two seasons, has one year plus a 2021 option remaining on his contract. Tampa Bay — or whatever team potentially acquires Howard — has until May 5 to exercise that option, which would be fully guaranteed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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9 comments on “Bucs Nearly Traded O.J. Howard For Trent Williams

  1. ruckus727

    This should be re-explored but the Bucs would need to find a big chunk of change somewhere to fit him and the draft class under the cap. I believe even without OJ’s 2020 cap charge, they are about maxed. $7-$8M for the rooks plus $15M-$18M for Trent. Not sure how that happens.

    • RootedInOakland

      yea they’re maxed out after the Gronk deal, prolly need to move OJ for 2021 picks

  2. Tampa Bay can’t afford Gronkowski and Trent Williams. Just can’t do it. A pity, as it would be a good trade for both teams. The only way Tampa Bay could do it, is if they trade away one of their $10 million+ men for draft picks.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The cap is about as soft as marshmallow so there is almost always away to work some magic. It would probably involve re-structuring some contracts, working in some deferred payments and moving bonus monies around but if teams want someone bad enough they usually find a fix.

  3. Tony B

    More likely to trade Brate than Howard. Brate is more expensive, and Howard is the better blocker. Gronk and Howard in two TE sets give them a look that has proven very effective in Brady QB’d teams.

  4. Simmons>Russ

    Trade OJ Howard and their pick at 13 or 14 whatever it is with either the Panthers, Jags or Cards to move into the Top 10 to get a really really good tackle.

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