Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 11 players fighting for a roster spot vs. Dolphins

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Dec 7, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Tight End: Cameron Brate

One pleasant surprise of this preseason has been the play of TE Cameron Brate. He as four receptions for 44 yards and has received praise from Bucs coaches more than a few times.

Brate spent time with the Bucs during training camp and the preseason last year but didn’t make the final roster. He was brought back to the team this May and has made a better impact on the team this time around. Some people feel that one reason the Bucs didn’t hesitate to trade TE Tim Wright was because they were so impressed with Brate’s play.

Even though Brate has made a good impression it won’t be that easy for him to earn a spot on the Bucs roster. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the obvious starting TE and Brandon Myers is pretty clearly the second option there. Luke Stocker has been with the team since 2011 and was re-signed on a three- year deal this offseason.

It may be a stretch for the Bucs to keep four TEs and that’s why Brate has his work cut out for him. If he can impress the team enough on Thursday night maybe they would think about keeping him and getting rid of Stocker; cutting Stocker would cost the team $500,000 this year.

If Brate does make the team has a fourth TE it will be because of his special teams play. That can be said for every player but its not that easy to do. Even if a backup excels on special teams there simply isn’t enough room on the roster to keep extra players at every position.

Brate should get plenty of playing time this Thursday night on offense and  on special teams so it will be up to him to make the biggest impact he can.