The Buccaneers just lost one of the best tight ends in the NFL to retirement. Still, the show goes on, and the Bucs need to replace Rob Gronkowski.
This is going to hurt for a little while. One way or another, the Buccaneers just got worse on offense.
Losing one of the best pass-catchers in the NFL and one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets is not a way for this team to get closer to making it back to a Super Bowl.
With an open hole in one of the starting tight end jobs and two rookies behind Cameron Brate, the Bucs need to get busy in the tight end free agent market to lessen this blow.
One of the first names that should pop up is Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph is coming off a couple of quiet seasons in New York with a bad Giants team, but that shouldn’t cause anyone to overlook his talent.
While he won’t be a Gronk, Rudolph is a decent guy to pair with Brate as an option with sure hands that can quickly fit in with the offense.
Another name that works well for that second tight end role is Eric Ebron. Ebron is another guy that isn’t coming off his best stretch of play, but he has shown a similar catch rate to Brate during his career and has an affinity for the red zone.
Ebron wouldn’t break the bank for the Bucs and gives another weapon to pair with Brate that has plenty of experience in the NFL.
Finally, the Bucs can also go after a player that has been one of their rivals recently in Jared Cook.
Cook has experienced an extremely underrated career filled with production and consistency and should be able to still perform at a high level with higher reps in this offense despite his age.
Regardless of whether or not the Buccaneers go after these players or others, Tampa needs to add to their tight end room to alleviate the pressure on Cameron Brate and two rookies.
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