Brate Still Has It

January 21st, 2020


Yeah, the Bucs offense didn’t always pass the eye test in 2019. But damn if it didn’t rack up the yards and points.

One element painful to watch was to see the deepest tight end talent on one team in the NFL go to waste.

That was first-round pick O.J. Howard and one of the more talented pass-catching tight ends in the game, Cam Brate.

Brate had told Joe one reason for the lack of tight end usage was the receivers were so good. OK, makes sense. The experiment (?) of using Howard as a blocker is, well, to be polite, incomplete.

Now one might argue maybe Brate played over his head when he had Dirk Koetter for an offensive coordinator. Koetter loved tight ends and they were important cogs in his offense.

To hint that Brate may not have it any longer might be rubbish. Joe was going through the recently-released 2019 Bucs season review and noticed Brate tied a franchise record in November against the Saints for most catches in a game for a tight end (10).

And this is in an offense that steers balls to receivers, not tight ends.

So Brate still has it. The question is, do the Bucs bring back Brate (and his $6 million salary for 2020), and will the offensive duo of Bucco Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich use Brate more to diversify the offense?

32 Responses to “Brate Still Has It”

  1. Brandon Says:

    With a $200 mil cap, a $6 mil TE isn’t really that much. Plus. Brate is good, a team player, and can still play.

  2. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    Since we don’t yes TE’s in this offense we definitely need to move one of those guys and I feel it should be OJ we can get more for him than we would for Brate. Brate unquestionably has better hands than OJ. From what I see, OJ is a “Looks like Tarzan. Play’s like Jane,” type of player.

  3. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    *don’t use TE’s

  4. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I’d keep Brate without question. I’d keep OJ until next years trade deadline to see if he improves.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Agree….2 are a luxury

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    still has to get better at blocking….OJ included….


  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Keep both guys.

    OJ can’t stay healthy.

    Brate is fantastic.

    Know what I miss about the Dungy era? Having players around long enough to celebrate them as fans. These days, you get to have a favorite plays and boom, he’s gone.

    A team need a nucleus of long term players to for fans to love. In this case, Brate is cheap and he is great. I would hate to see him go.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Nothing wrong with having a luxury.

    But we have to keep multiple tight ends anyway, so nothing wrong with two of them actually being good.

  9. Joe in Michigan Says:

    If we got Brate, Donovan Smith, Marpet, and Jensen to agree to restructure and/or reduce their salaries we’d be sitting pretty.

  10. Dreghost Says:

    Honestly let’s cut em and bring in some blocking TE, OJ is still a good talent but in BA offense they don’t feature the TE’s so why not get some draft capital or maybe a player for player trade off

  11. Sleepy903 Says:

    Save both him and OJ until the trade deadline. May need to use to get an important piece for a playoff run.

    Or trade them both at the trade deadline to acquire additional picks to move up in 2021 draft.

    Or restructure/trade if needed to sign more important players.

  12. Capt Kidd Says:

    I keep hearing how OJ can’t block, but PFF gave him the highest blocking grade of all tight ends in the league. Someone’s wrong.

  13. Dreghost Says:

    I agree with all you guys, i kinda like all those ideas

  14. pick6 Says:

    OJ doesn’t have the trust of his QB or his coaches. He does have tantalizing amounts of talent and he’s a year away from being paid on his upside rather than his sparse resume. That’s the guy to trade. Brate earns his money not on volume or big plays, but by coming through on money downs.

    The way Brate plays, he has 5+ years of being a clutch target in the red zone and on 3rd down. He is never going to be an All-Pro talent, but he is a guy who will execute the heck out of his limited role and that’s what a team with Godwin and Evans leading the way needs.

  15. NOLES Says:

    Capt Kid

    He can block but can’t catch…..

  16. NOLES Says:

    You don’t pick those type if TE’s in rd 1…

  17. Bucs Guy Says:

    Trade OJ for 2nd and 4th, Use 4th for a blocking TE and 2nd for a RB or extra OL. Take OL and DL with our 1st and 2nd rd picks.

    Brate has better production and chemistry with JW than OJ — assuming he’s back in 2020.

  18. WestChap Says:

    I thought the TE duo and even Auclair were going to wreak havoc in short passing game… but it never gelled. I guess it would be greedy to want stellar TE pass production given how well the WR group played. Seems like we either need to better use the guys we have or get better blockers to reflect how we seem to want to use TEs. The fact that we have 2 quality TEs under reasonable deals should yield at least some draft capital if we approach correctly. I really thought OJ was going to be traded to NE at the deadline… I wonder if that would have been enough to get the Pats to KC?

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    At $6 mil., I’d rather have Perriman than Brate.

  20. Matt Says:

    I think OJ bulked up too much and got too stiff. He will lean out this year and be more fluid and have a breakout year. Jameis just doesn’t have good feel for touch passes and throws difficult passes to catch on those intermediate routes. Arians’ offense is notorious for not utilizing tight ends. Both scheme and poor throws hurt OJ’s production this year. I’m very confident in OJ and Brate going forward. Brate is very tall and incredibly intelligent and is always a mismatch in the red zone.

    It’s like man, we have some craaaaaazy weapons. If all the stars align and everyone plays to their potential we could be very dangerous in the playoffs next year.

  21. Hoops Says:

    Receiving TDs by Tight End Leaders, Last 5 Seasons:

    1. Travis Kelce (32)
    2. Kyle Rudolph (30)
    3. Zach Ertz (28)
    4. Cameron Brate (27)
    5. Eric Ebron (26)

    Would be more if he was used the past year.
    I’m sure other teams will want him.

  22. Smashsquatch Says:

    Brate is toast. No chance he remains a Buc. Good dude, wish him the best. Hope he lands on a contender. He’s simply a luxury this team cannot afford, especially considering Hudson is a similar player at a fraction of the cost. BA’s scheme doesn’t call for money to be spent on TEs. Need to use those dollars to shore up the O-line. The QB needs more time for the longer developing plays and the run game is lacking balance and needs more punch. Use Brate’s cash to make a run at Conklin or Bulaga.

  23. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Joe in Michigan, Do you understand that the Bucs have 100 million in cap space? Do you also understand that Donovan Smith is on the last year of his contract so he can’t restructure his deal unless you’re talking about a pay cut. In that case who would you get to replace him? You’re not signing a starting left tackle that’s any good for less than 14 million. Is it your plan to go to the draft with no left tackle and no right tackle? Sounds genius.

  24. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    It seemed to me that the Earl of Watford was playing TE a lot of the time. That means they don’t trust OJ to block.

    Send him packing. This year’s #14, next year’s 1st pick and OJ to the Bengals for Joe Burrow. If they say no, it will set the price very high (Three #1’s) for the Stinking Panthers to move up.

  25. tickrdr Says:

    @Ghost of Darrell Henderson:

    Personally, I like this trade idea very much!
    Then sign the veteran QB of your choice till Burrow is ready.


  26. Joe in Michigan Says:

    WhatThe Buc: Donovan Smith is signed through 2021. Even if 2020 was the last year of his contract, why couldn’t it be restructured?

    We have a little over $90 million and have to give out several big contracts.

    Why wouldn’t you ask some of these guys to restructure?

  27. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Yeah, I didn’t say anything about getting rid of our starting tackles.

  28. stpetebucsfan Says:


    My cousins, the City of Cincinnati would go nuckin futs. He more than just a great player for them. He’s a hometown hero who grew up two hours east in Athens. He’s ALREADY raised a half million for the Athens food bank.

    My point is quite simple. Burrow is FAR more valuable to the Bengals than he is to us…realizing that he would be enormously potent in our Offense…but not if we had to give away two years of top 2 or 3 round picks. There are other QB’s who can win for us for a lot LESS than Burrow. e.g. We could get Eason without needing to trade up.

  29. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Guesses on contracts for players we might resign:
    Jameis or other QB: $27 mil
    Shaq Barrett: $17 mil
    JPP: $16 mil
    Suh: $8 mil
    Nassib: $8 mil
    Perriman: $7 mil
    Dotson: $4 mil
    Total: $87 mil
    Cap Space: $92 mil
    We also need to give Godwin a raise. So some players need to restructure or be cut/traded. I don’t think we’ll resign Nassib and Perriman, though. Anyway, to think we have unlimited money to spend is not realistic.

  30. Buczilla Says:

    Dude makes too much money for how we use him. Could we even get a 4th round pick for him?

  31. WestChap Says:

    Cincinnati would burn if they let Ohio’s own Mr. Football slip away. Even if they got 3 1’s the GM wouldn’t be safe on the streets.

    I want a rookie… and would chase Herbert by trading up if needed but Bruce is the man, so if he says Eason is his guy in late 1st via a trade back I’m in! Then we need a vet to mentor. My preference: Mariota, Bridgewater or Rivers… all should be available for less than what it will cost to tag or sign Blameless.

    Willing to bet that QB combo with our WRs yields 4,000 yards 25 TDs and 10 INTs… we make playoffs and have a reborn vet or a well groomed rookie at the helm. Please.

  32. adam from ny Says:

    at this point, our receivers evans and godwin block better than brate and oj…

    this needs to be corrected and worked on in the off season and camp…

    these mofos gotta start thinking like roadgraders