Howard Trade Fell Through
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded with the Patriots for Rob Gronkowski yesterday. Gronkowski was lured out of retirement to reunite with his old quarterback Tom Brady. According to ESPN's Jenna Laine, the Buccaneers were in talks with the Washington Redskins to trade for tackle Trent Williams in exchange for former first-round pick O.J. Howard.
The trade ultimately fell through and now the Bucs have an embarrassment of riches at the tight end position. Howard may see himself on a new team before this weekend's NFL Draft is over but general manager Jason Licht committed to Howard at the NFL Combine,
"We have plans for O.J. being in our offense this year," said Licht.
The Bucs have until May 5 to determine if they will pick up the fifth-year option on Howard or not. Should he remain on the offense he will fight for snaps with Gronkowski and Cameron Brate.
Gronkowski has 521 receptions, 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in his nine-year career.
Brate has 195 receptions, 2,156 yards and 27 touchdowns over the course of his six-year career.
Howard has 94 receptions, 1,456 yards and 12 touchdowns in his three-year career so far.
During Brady's final year playing with both Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in New England, Brady completed 106 passes to the two tight ends with 16 touchdowns. Conceivably the Bucs could look to replicate that success with two tight end packages but that would leave an odd man out.
Alabama Players in the NFL