With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots are in need of a tight end. Should the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick up the phone?
With the fresh news of future hall of gamer Rob Gronkowski retiring along with the departure of Dwayne Allen to the Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots have a glaring need at tight end. Having effective and talented tight ends is key to the success of the Patriots offense in the last decade. It just so happens that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have two very capable tight ends in veteran Cameron Brate and the former 19th overall pick O.J. Howard.
Is Brate expendable to the Bucs? If Tampa Bay were to trade Brate, it would clear up roughly $7 million in cap space, and more importantly bring in draft assets and free up more targets for Howard, who is on the brink of stardom.
The Patriots currently have 12 picks in the upcoming draft and will likely look to trade more than two or three of those picks for assets that can play now or for future picks. With the Patriots having 12 picks and six of them being between the second and fourth round, it would not be too farfetched to think the Bucs could get a fourth round pick in return.
Since going undrafted out of Harvard in 2014, Brate has had a very nice career after a rocky start. Brate bounces back and forth between the Bucs and New Orleans Saints practice squads for two years before finally making the regular season roster in 2015.
Since then Brate has appeared in 66 games totaling 159 receptions, 1,845 yards, 23 touchdowns and 17 receptions for over 20 yards or more while only surrendering two fumbles in that time. Brate would fill a huge hole for the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots and likely become a favorite target for Tom Brady. Netting a third or fourth round pick would be huge for a Bucs team that currently only has seven picks in the 2019 draft.