Tight End Battle: Cameron Brate vs OJ Howard
This is the least impactful battle the Buccaneers have this offseason due to both players being so skilled in their own ways.
O.J. Howard was a coveted rookie last season for his elite skill set as a tight end coming out of Alabama as a blocker and a pass catcher. Cameron Brate has been and still is a surprise to all of the NFL. He really came through for the Bucs front office this off-season signing a six-year, $40.8 million contract, with only $18 million guaranteed.
A steal for the team based off his production. In his four best seasons, Brate recorded 129 catches, 1556 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has become one of Winston’s favorite red zone targets with 14 touchdowns in the past two seasons, which is third for tight ends in the NFL.
OJ Howard didn’t put up astounding numbers in his rookie year but his potential was definitely visible. Howard had 26 catches, 432 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Some people will complain that as a first round pick he should have at least double the catches and yards but that’s not what Howard was brought in to do. Howard was one of the best blocking tight ends coming out of college and his versatility was why some people considered him to be a top 10 caliber pick coming out of the draft.
Howard was technically the starter from day one but his role in the passing game was limited. Howard was used on over 600 snaps but only went out for a route on 40% of them. When Cameron Brate was on the field he was going out for a reception instead of blocking. While Howard needs to improve his blocking all around he will likely have a bigger role than Brate next year. Not saying Brate will be an unused asset but look for Howard to improve his game all around.