Terrible Buccaneers take that needs to quickly disappear
By Rob Leeds
As silly as it may sound, some people are calling for the Buccaneers to sign Julio Jones and the convert him to tight end.
We have officially reached the absolute insanity part of the offseason. The Buccaneers signing Julio Jones is still a great idea. Converting Jones to tight end to replace Rob Gronkowski is lunacy.
While this take is fortunately not coming from analysts (yet), there is a surprising number of fans proposing this idea when discussing a future without Gronk as a starter.
This is not a new take either, especially when considering the fact that some people have also discussed the same idea with converting Mike Evans to the same role.
Tall wide receivers are not tight ends.
Tight end is one of the hardest position in the sport. Having to block and be able to run routes is an extremely demanding prospect when you are expected to sometimes line up across from edge rushers, linebackers, or defensive backs depending on the play.
A tight end goes up against the extremes of NFL defense on a play-by-play standard, and asking a guy that has never played tight end at this level to do so based on his height is foolish.
Evans and Jones may look the part with their height, but neither is ever going to be able to put a hand in the dirt at the line of scrimmage and hold their own.
What makes this take even sillier is that the Bucs don’t necessarily need a tight end to replace Gronk when he is off the line of scrimmage. Yes, Tampa does need another blocker for runs out of a two-tight end offense, but they don’t need another tight end to play Gronk’s role when he starts off the line.
Any number of Tampa’s wide receivers can do this, and the Buccaneers can then move Cameron Brate to the line alongside a rookie (if their role is small) or a free agent.
The need just isn’t there to do something so crazy. The offense will obviously look worse without Gronk, but there are four other pass-catchers on the roster that need more reps that will now get those chances.
That position and role in a Buccaneer offense that doesn’t really need tight ends is not as dependent on a name as people would think. Stop the craziness. Julio Jones is a great addition. He is not a tight end.
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