The Buccaneers have Antonio Brown back in the fold, thanks to a little bit of help from Cameron Brate. On Wednesday, the tight end agreed to revise his existing contract with a portion of his salary being converted to a signing bonus (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Field Yates).
The Buccaneers wiped $4.69MM from the books by converting $2.425MM of Brate’s pay to a bonus. Meanwhile, his listed salary has been reduced down to a modest $1.075MM. The remainder of Brate’s contract remains untouched — he still has base salaries of $6.8MM and $7.5MM for 2022 and 2023, respectively. However, those seasons are completely non-guaranteed, so the Buccaneers can release him with zero dead money left over.
Brate, an eighth-year pro, inked a six-year, $41MM deal with the Bucs in March 2018. At the time, he was hot off of two solid seasons with an average of 52 catches for 625 yards and seven touchdowns. Unfortunately, the 2018-19 campaigns were not as kind to him — his average dipped to 33/300/5 in those two years as he struggled through a hip injury.
Now, Brate finds himself playing second fiddle to Rob Gronkowski. In 2020, he put up some of the lowest numbers of his career — 28 receptions for 282 yards and two TDs. However, the 29-year-old (30 in July) saw a more significant role in the playoffs, culminating in Brate’s first ever ring.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.