Gronk’s arrival sets stage for O.J. Howard’s departure

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After quarterback Tom Brady joined the Buccaneers last month, coach Bruce Arians said that tight end O.J. Howard‘s “eyes should light up.” Now that tight end Rob Gronkowski has joined the Buccaneers, Howard’s eyes should light up in a different way.

Howard, whose name emerged in trade discussions last year, now becomes a likely casualty of Gronkowski’s addition to a roster that also includes tight end Cameron Brate.

Like Gronkowski, Howard is under contract for one more year. Trading Howard before May 3 would allow his new team to pick up the fifth-year option that goes with a first-round contract.

Some had suggested that Howard could be sent to the Patriots as part of the Gronkowski trade. But it could still happen as a second transaction. From Tampa Bay’s perspective, it’s better to expand the potential pool of suitors in the hopes of getting more for the 2017 first-round pick.

And the Buccaneers need multiple suitors in order to get the best possible return for Howard, because the “screw it, we’ll just keep him” argument won’t work now that Gronkowski, Howard, and Brate are on the team — especially since Howard already had been linked to trade talk.

At this point, the best move for the Buccaneers would be to trade Howard whenever the draft pick they’d be getting in return is on the clock, so that the Bucs would have full dibs on the board without worrying about getting jumped for whoever it is that they would take after dropping into that slot. Even if a deal is negotiated today, part of the deal should be an agreement to keep it quiet until it’s time to use the highest pick (if more than one) that the Buccaneers would receive for a very affordable one-year, $1.977 million salary for Howard.

19 responses to “Gronk’s arrival sets stage for O.J. Howard’s departure

  1. Howard has shown nothing in the NFL…is it because he was’nt coached up by the Bucs or was over hyped? I think he’ll become a solid TE with the right team. Get a 4th for him ( the one you GAVE AWAY for Gronk) and move on Bucs….

  2. Nope. Imo it’s brate is the one that needs to go. Howard is a solid all around tight end who with grooms addition would do wonders for his game, I’d keep him.

  3. I think Bucs offered him in the Gronk deal but Pats simply said no thanks. He’s not awful but inconsistent & injury bugged, fully carries a 1st-rounder’s contract yet can’t fully carry a ball. He’s not good value – but if he was a UFA I’m sure Belichick would give him a Spring camp.

  4. Here’s a thought… keep Howard too because his salary is so low he’s not draining the team.

  5. Theres no way Howard’s going anywhere. Instead, he’ll out snap Gronk on a regular basis. Gronk has been brought in a 3rd down/redzone player maybe used in 2 minute drills as well. He desn’t have the durability at this point in his career to take a full compliment os snaps. Brate is expendable now for because Winston has been the only QB to ever be able to get him the ball, but Howard’s not going anywhere.

  6. Gronk is great but he is injury prone. Brady likes big targets. Before the Hernandez crime syndicate was uncovered, the Patriots collected tight ends like Josh Gordon collects suspensions. Keep Howard. Steady diet of 12 personnel with rotation to keep everyone fresh.

  7. Why not keep all three? Imagine a three TE set with Evans and godwin on the outside.

  8. theres only 1 football. have we seen how the receivers will respond to getting 4 catches a game for 50 yards?

  9. Why do people keep touting their TEs? They’re not as great as people claim. Oj Howard appears to be an underachiever and Brate is just solid.

    What is with the odd hype around this circus of a team?

    Brady is old and mentally checked out already as shown for 16 games last year and most all of 2018, in particular when he was missing a binky.

    Gronk can barely move and is too thin now.

    I don’t think a TE who gets a regular 4/5 TDs in a year is some kind of exciting TE. His best year was 4 years ago, but he does about 35 receptions a year. It’s not as great as people try to spin.

    Gronk at 10 million? Horrible value as a rental in a 1 year window. The odds of winning the SB this season without camps, etc, are very distant for so many new, key components coming in.

  10. edukator44 says:
    April 22, 2020 at 10:19 am
    theres only 1 football. have we seen how the receivers will respond to getting 4 catches a game for 50 yards?

    —-

    Who cares? The point is to win. Brady and Gronk will eradicate the “just get me the damn ball” individualist mentality that losing teams have, if in fact, that is a problem there.

  11. Actually, a team may have 3TE’s, play 2 TE sets, have a backup and utilize at least one of them in special teams. Not only is that an option, for a lot of teams that’s the goal. In fact, how many examples are there of teams having less than 3 TE’s on their roster?

  12. I look at the QB. Some QB have a favorite position they may call, “their safety valve”. That’s someone who will uncover quickly, or who can scramble back and get in position to catch a ball. For Troy Aikman it was Jason Witten. For Dak Prescott it was Cole Beasley. It’s a player that a QB has faith in. For Tom Brady, that’s Gronk.

  13. I’d keep Howard. He’ll be going from Jameis Winston to Tom Brady. Ask Wes Welker, Randy Moss, or any other receiver that’s played with Brady and anyone else.

  14. I love all of this Patriots fans in here trying to talk crap about Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski when just last week all of these guys now hating on these two were obsessed with the two of them and held them up as football gods. Now that they no longer wear a Patriots Jersey we are all just supposed to believe the two forgot how to play football according to the Foxborough crowd in here. That’s just plain sad.

  15. tylawspick6 says:
    April 22, 2020 at 10:42 am
    Why do people keep touting their TEs? They’re not as great as people claim. Oj Howard appears to be an underachiever and Brate is just solid.

    What is with the odd hype around this circus of a team?

    Brady is old and mentally checked out already as shown for 16 games last year and most all of 2018, in particular when he was missing a binky.

    Gronk can barely move and is too thin now.

    I don’t think a TE who gets a regular 4/5 TDs in a year is some kind of exciting TE. His best year was 4 years ago, but he does about 35 receptions a year. It’s not as great as people try to spin.

    Gronk at 10 million? Horrible value as a rental in a 1 year window. The odds of winning the SB this season without camps, etc, are very distant for so many new, key components coming in.
    =====================

    Brady mentally checked out last season? Do you even believe the crap you type? Brady didn’t “check out mentally” he had a crappy offense w/ a crappy receiving core and no one who could consistently get open or separate on the outside or take the top off , corners showed zero fear of NE’s receivers that’s why NE’s offense struggled it had nothing to do with Brady. Though to understand that you would have to a clear firm understanding of the game, which judging by your comment seems to be an issue for you.

    I also find it absolutely hilarious that now you’re trying to say Tom Brady sucks at playing the position of Quarterback because he no longer wears Patriots Blue/Silver and instead now wears Tampa Black/Red/White & so now instantly you feel the need to crap on a QB who gave your team 20 years & 6 Super Bowl Titles. Classy Move dude, you keep showing the world that world class character you possess.

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