With Rob Gronkowski in, O.J. Howard likely will be out. At a minimum, he apparently wants out.
JoeBucsFan.com reports that the 2017 first-round pick would like a change of scenery.
Howard has never developed into the weapon that the Bucs thought he’d be in 2017, and if the Bucs are willing to trade Howard in the division a reunion with former Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter, now the offensive coordinator in Atlanta, could be interesting.
First, the Bucs have to want to trade him. As obvious as that possibility may seem on the surface, the Buccaneers may need to keep both Howard and Cameron Brate, given that they may want to ease Gronk in. Also, if Tampa Bay plans to use two-receiver, two-tight-end, one-running-back sets extensively this year, it makes sense to have a third tight end in whom they have confidence.
It definitely makes sense to keep an eye on Howard as potential trade bait for a Bucs team that has an embarrassment of riches in the passing game, and that hasn’t gotten the production it envisioned from Howard three years ago.
UPDATE 4:42 p.m. ET: A source close to Howard denies that Howard wants out of Tampa. Regardless, Howard is an obvious potential trade partner.