Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard and gargantuan Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry have been working out together in Mexico, which could be intriguing and have future ramifications for reasons you may not expect.
At 6 feet 6 inches and 251 pounds, Howard is a freak of nature for a tight end given his speed and athleticism for his size. It’s why the Buccaneers made him the 19th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. He has shown flashes of brilliance when healthy, but the keywords here are “when healthy”.
The best ability is availability. Unfortunately for Howard, he has only played in 42 games since entering the league in 2017 and has never played a full season. In 2020, Howard played in only four games, by far the lowest of his career. In that span, he has recorded over 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns in the four seasons he’s been in Tampa, so the potential is still there. Working out with a thoroughbred like Henry can hopefully maximize that potential in both skill, and in health.
There’s another reason this is an interesting workout pairing.
Howard and Henry were teammates at the University of Alabama, so it makes sense that they would remain close. However, the last Henry former member of the Crimson Tide, and player who wasn’t also on the Titans, Henry worked out with was Julio Jones. As you may recall, Jones eventually ended up in the music city via trade. The Titans can also use some tight end help, and Howard is in the final year of his context, fifth year option pending.
Of course, this is all speculation, and during the dog days of summer, NFL news can be scarce. There is always the possibility of this being read too far into. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a story that’s potentially worth monitoring.
O.J. Howard has always been an intuiting name for the Buccaneers, and he potentially just got that much more so.