Trade proposal for Buccaneers to kill two birds with one stone

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, trade option C.J. Henderson (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, trade option C.J. Henderson (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers aren’t usually the team to make moves during the season, but that doesn’t mean they can’t start now.

After their first game this season against the Dallas Cowboys, two issues became painfully apparent for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  1. The injury to cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting is a major hole in the defense that must be remedied for at least the next 3-5 weeks while SMB is recovering from a dislocated shoulder.
  2. Bucs tight end O.J. Howard was barely on the field at all during the week one matchup and recorded zero targets, essentially making him a non-factor in the Bucs offense. This, added to the fact that Rob Gronkowski looked like his old self with two touchdowns and 100 receiving yards, has to make fans wonder if there really is no need for Howard.

This obviously is not to cheapen the talents of Howard, an objectively skilled tight-end who has had the misfortune of having an injury riddled career. However, it’s beneath Howard and wasteful for both him and the Bucs to sit the bench the rest of the year if Gronkowski and Cameron Brate are going to be the main contributors.

Regardless, given the Bucs’ current predicaments, the least they can do is try and make the best of two bad situations by making a trade.

The Bucs should try and trade the Jacksonville Jaguars Howard and a third-round pick in next year’s draft in return for cornerback C.J. Henderson.

This would simultaneously solve both issues the Bucs are facing by acquiring a solid replacement for Murphy-Bunting while he is hurt (and a solid contributor for the rest of the year), as well as not wasting Howard on the bench all year.

The Jaguars would also profit from this trade by giving their young quarterback a real threat at tight-end as well as picking up an extra draft pick to help them as they continue to build a team around Trevor Lawrence in the coming years.

At this point, Howard’s weak preseason and lack of use in the first game is concerning. If the Bucs don’t see a future with Howard, they need to try to get something for him before they lose him for nothing. A TE3 is not impossible to replace if the Buccaneers only see Howard as such.

As for Henderson, his 2020 wasn’t the most exciting, but there is still clearly some talent there. Tampa has a decent secondary, but it is one that can still use some support. Jacksonville clearly won’t be good anytime soon, so dishing out there better players to build for the future makes some sense if there is trouble with Henderson.

One way or another, the Bucs do have options, but they do need to make a move soon to keep their secondary intact if SMB is out for longer than expected.

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