No Realistic Trade Offers For O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate

The Buccaneers have about $20MM of salary cap space tied up at the tight end position between Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, and Cameron Brate, and there was plenty of speculation that the club could look to deal either Howard or Brate now that Gronk is in the fold.

However, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, no realistic trade options presented themselves to Tampa (Twitter link). We heard a few days ago that the team nearly dealt Howard to the Redskins in exchange for Trent Williams back in February, so Fowler’s report may simply mean that no viable trade proposals surfaced after the Gronk acquisition on April 21 and throughout this weekend’s draft. In any event, it looks as if Tom Brady will have all three players at his disposal in 2020.

Fowler adds that the Bucs never felt the need to trade a tight end and that they are comfortable with their significant financial investment in the position. But it’s not as though they really have a choice. It’s much more likely that an opposing team would pursue Howard instead of Brate, and Howard carries a 2020 cap charge of just $3.5MM, $1.5MM of which would remain on the Bucs’ cap even if he were traded. One way or another, the overall TE cap hit is significant, so it makes sense to simply give Brady as many options as possible and to see if he can help Howard start to realize his potential. GM Jason Licht acknowledged as much several hours before this year’s draft got underway.

It remains unclear if the Bucs will pick up Howard’s fifth-year option for 2021. Though the option would be guaranteed for injury only since Howard was a 2017 draft choice, the Alabama product has not lived up to his status as a first-round selection, so his future in Tampa remains up in the air.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “No Realistic Trade Offers For O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate

  1. goldenmisfit

    “No realistic offers“ means they wanted a high draft pick and no one was crazy enough to give it.

  2. phillyballers

    Let him go full quarantine and gain like 60 lbs and have him play Guard or Tackle.

  3. cmtaylor98

    I bet Green Bay ends up with him after all the hell they are catching. 2021 3rd, for Howard.

  4. Arians offense isn’t TE friendly, yet, they have 3 TEs on the roster. Obviously Gronk isn’t going anywhere. So Howard and Brate will be underutilized, why not just trade one of them for whatever draft pick is offered?

  5. crosseyedlemon

    I don’t think the Bucs have to panic. The Bears have 10 TEs and could be looking to add more as they still don’t actually have a guy that is going to scare opponents in the least.

  6. ruckus727

    I think Brate is really underrated. He would improve a lot of team’s offenses for a minimal investment. He’s really good in the RZ.

  7. Simmons>Russ

    OJ Howard and a fifth for Marlon Mack.

    Both from the same draft so both deals near the same. Buccs have a need for a quality RB like Mack and Colts just signed Jonathan Taylor in the draft. They could also do with an improvement at TE, Howard is a great reviving TE and gives them another target outside of Hilton and Pittman

  8. queensburykid

    This article is not saying that the Buccaneers are over their cap space, so one has to go for sure. Cameron is the most logical choice, because his salary is 4.2 million. Brate is still a decent player, but he will get nothing in return. OJ Howard is being more difficult to deal with which reducing his trade value. He still has the potential
    Label. Cameron Brate’s presence has reduced his numbers. I think that OJ Howard is the best option because he has two year eligibility, but has he given up on the Buccaneers.

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