Cut: TE Cameron Brate
Cameron Brate is an outstanding backup tight end. He can find holes in the defense on third down. He can shake off defenders in the red zone. That still doesn’t make Brate worth the $7 million he is due next season.
With O.J. Howard emerging as the starter to open up the season, Brate received only a handful of snaps a game, let alone targets.
Howard proved he was the top guy at tight end, and Brate’s value to the Bucs dwindled. He managed 289 receiving yards this season. His six touchdowns were a substantial number, but that isn’t sustainable with his target share.
Even when Howard was forced to miss the rest of the season after he suffered an injury, Brate still didn’t see a jump in production. He didn’t surpass 40 receiving yards in a single game even as the starting tight end for six games.
The only argument for keeping Brate at his current contract would be as insurance for Howard. But a $7 million insurance policy seems steep. Unless he is willing to restructure, the Bucs can find some viable backups for much less.