The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ newest wide receiver is in a great position to break out this season, which should pay off in dividends for the Buccaneers.
Due to various circumstances too exhausting to get into here, Antonio Brown is no longer a member of the Buccaneers. With that being the case, there was a hole in the depth chart for the third receiver position, and the Bucs wasted little time filling said hole.
At the request of Tom Brady, who at this point is essentially the Deputy General Manager for the Buccaneers, the team went out and plucked Russell Gage from the division rival Atlanta Falcons to bring into Tampa Bay. Brady’s excitement for the addition was palpable, to the point where Gage thought it was a joke when Brady called to inform him that they are now teammates.
The excitement should now be palpable for Bucs fans as well because Gage is in a prime position to have himself a monster season.
Much like it appears to be the case this season, the Falcons were a bit of a dumpster fire last year. Despite talent, the team just couldn’t produce and now find themselves in as close to full-blown tank-mode as possible. To put it more kindly, they are currently in a bit of a rebuild. However, in the midst of all that, including the absence of Calvin Ridley, Gage still had himself a solid season as Atlanta‘s de facto number one wide receiver a year ago.
In 2021, Gage caught 66 balls for 770 yards and four touchdowns, which caught some people off-guard. It seems that this production flew farther under the radar than initially thought, as the Buccaneers were able to essentially steal Gage in free agency.
When he was actually on the field, AB was able to thrive as the third wide receiver, thanks to all the attention being placed on a plethora of other weapons Brady had at his disposal. Of course, Brown’s all-world talent had a lot to do with that, but so did the attention that Mike Evans and Chris Godwin warrant from opposing secondaries.
Gage is younger than Brown, and certainly has fresher legs, which will be huge for this offense. Speaking of Godwin, he is coming off of an ACL injury and is expected to miss time. This will allow Gage to step in as the number two receiver for a while to get acclimated to the offense, and by the time Godwin returns to the fold, Gage and Brady should have a strong rapport. Remember, this was all Brady‘s idea, so there’s already some sort of connection there between the two. Now we get to watch it blossom.
Russell Gage may not have been the flashiest off-season story for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, especially considering what happened with the quarterbacks. However, he is in a prime position to thrive and should be a significant addition to this roster, and potentially your fantasy football roster.