Lombardi: Bucs Shopping O.J.

April 16th, 2020


Yesterday Joe braved the unknown and traveled to a doctor’s appointment. While listening to Michael Lombardi’s podcast “GM Shuffle,” Lombardi shared quality rumors concerning the Bucs and tight end O.J. Howard.

Lombardi claims a league source called him after Lombardi made a national radio appearance over the weekend raving about how Howard will blow up with Tom Brady coming to the Bucs.

The caller tipped off Lombardi, a former NFL suit and coffee fetcher for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, that Howard may have a new team soon because the Bucs are shopping him.

“I was told this week — I was doing my VSiN show over the weekend and talked about O.J. Howard’s odds,” Lombardi began. “What are his odds to go over his receiving total? And I said, ‘Aw, hell! Go over the total! Because Brady will throw the ball to him a ton.’

“Brady loves throwing the ball inside to the receivers. ‘Howard to me is destined to have a tremendous season.'”

The next day, Lombardi said he got a phone call from the ever-popular-in-April league source.

“Last year, he had 34 catches and averaged 13.5 yards and only had one touchdown,” Lombardi said. “So then I get a phone call a day later from somebody in the league that said, ‘Look, I don’t think Howard is going to be on the team. They are trying to trade him.’ [The Bucs] wanted a second-round pick at the trade deadline that no one would give them.'”

The Bucs thought they had a steal landing Howard in the 2017 draft at No 19 overall. He has had flashes of brilliance but hardly consistent enough. It didn’t help that last year Bucco Bruce Arians decided to use Howard mainly as a blocker, which just didn’t work out well.

This NFL source of Lombardi’s must have fed him info because what Lombardi said next about Howard was intriguing from a guy who earlier in the week told a national radio audience how Howard was going to blow up.

“I think Howard is a great name but there is an instinctive issue that is going on,” Lombardi said. “I think he is going to be available. It would not surprise me if he was traded on draft day or the day before.”

What makes all of this so interesting is that just two days before Lombardi spilled the beans about Howard, Albert Breer, in calling his various NFL front office sources, claimed he’s hearing a lot of backchannel chatter that the Bucs are trying to move up in the draft to land an offensive tackle.

Could it be that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht is dangling Howard’s name to see what kind of fish comes nibbling with a draft pick in the top-10?

And here is something else: When Howard appeared on the “Tampa Bay 55” podcast recently with Ryan Bass and Rob Higgins, Howard said he had yet to speak with Tom Brady and that he plans to see Brady “within the next couple of months or so” when Howard returns to Tampa.

That just seemed odd to Joe, especially after Howard’s similar strange comments on SportsCenter a few weeks ago. The Bucs let it be known Brady asked for phone numbers of his new teammates. We know he called Chris Godwin. But Howard, one of the more talented tight ends in the league and a guy who seems built to succeed with Brady, hasn’t spoken to him?

That on its own seems strange. Throw in Lombardi’s trade rumor and Breer’s draft intel and it makes you wonder.

All of this is starting to add up to Joe that the Bucs are hellbent on moving up from No. 14.

Remember: Howard is entering the fourth and potentially final year of his contract unless the Bucs trigger the fifth-year option. The deadline to do that is May 3.

88 Responses to “Lombardi: Bucs Shopping O.J.”

  1. ItzOK Says:

    Itz fine if they trade him for draft picks because Gronkowski is taking his place

  2. Sarasota Garey Says:

    Why would they do this now that we have Brady, with his love for TE’s? Hes still relatively inexpensive.

  3. NOLES Says:

    OJ is a bust, be happy to use him to trade up instead of a 2nd rd pick. You heard it no one would even give us a 2nd rd pick for him. & don’t say its how he is used bc when given the chance to catch he failed… miserably. He has 0 heart & plays like Jane.. that what we get For taking a luxury pick in rd 1. We didnt need a TE & who cares about Koetters offense, JL should have told him No.

    Brate is gritty & has hands. If he is healthy his #’s will rise w Brady.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Don’t like trading up……like the idea of Howard & Brady…..

    Perhaps with a strengthened Oline, we won’t need the blocking TE as much.

  5. Jsmalls Says:

    You would do it now because there’s obviously some in house stuff going on with the kid we’re not privy to. There were a lot of footballs flying around last year and he did not look good or have success. If they’re not confident he’s not working up to his potential bringing in Brady will only highlight that flaw.

  6. Aaron Says:

    I think they’ve seen enough to not want to pick up that 5th yr option. Plus, it doesn’t matter who is in the middle of the field…TE or WR…if they are open and Brady trust them – he’ll get them the ball.

    If trading him now makes the most sense – do it. Probably should don’t it last year…BA just doesn’t incorporate the TE in his offense…he chooses to use big WRs instead…

  7. TDTB Says:

    Would love to see him traded to the Panthers where we swap places with them in first and second round. I’d personally take Simmons if available, but one of the four OT prospects is the safer move.

  8. Aaron Says:

    Sorry, haven’t had my coffee yet. “Probably should have done it…”

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    Flat out, Howard became expendable through his own poor play. Period! If he played anywhere near his draft position and hype, this wouldn’t even be a conversation.
    Aaron I disagree about BA using TEs. One, we have 2 stud WRs so touches are limited. Two, they were in routes and the QB didn’t throw to them. Finally, when OJ was thrown to, he couldn’t catch or hold on to the football.
    Bottom line, It’s up to the QB to find the open target. They were there.

  10. ©MadMax Says:

    Well, if we trade Howard, I hope we draft Claypool and put him in some TE situations. Big, strong, fast and can catch.

  11. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    BA’s offensive never truly involved TEs. Brady will insist the TE is a major contributor. Not only will our offensive involve the TEs but will have a full back and an all purpose RB.

    No chance Howard is trading unless some team is foolish enough to cough up a second round draft pick.

  12. Bucsfan333 Says:

    This would be a huge mistake and makes you question the personnel decisions. Wiping a team of their talented youth for fossils is questionable.

  13. Bucs Guy Says:

    Trade OJ and get an extra pick. No discussion. The Bucs won’t pick up his 5th yr option, so he’s gone after this year. The Bucs could use an extra 2nd or 3rd round pick.

    I don’t like trading up. The Bucs need to decide if the #5 OT Josh Jones is good enough. The Bucs shoild know by pick #6 if they can stay at #14 and get one of the big 4 OTs. If the Giants and/or Chargers take an OT, the Bucs could be in trouble. The Cards and Browns both are most likely picking OTs. That leaves the Jets. They are a true wild card with their history of strange picks. They are a 50/50 chance to take an OT or WR. Obviously, if anyone trades up for an OT that changes everything.

    So what does this mean?
    1) The Bucs need to make a decision on Josh Jones. If he’s someone who can do the job, stay at #14 and consider re-signing Demar Dotson at a minimum salary as an insurance policy.
    2) Wait and pick one of the big 4 OTs when they fall to you at #14.
    3) If Jones isn’t the guy, have a plan/deal in place to trade up if you must get one of the big 4 OTs.

  14. Phil Says:

    OJ Howard is a bust. I would be surprised if we could get a 5th round pick for him. Of course we could of had Davin Cook.

  15. Allbuccedup Says:

    They have to make room for Gronk makes perfect sense.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    So many JBFers want to trade a TE who they’ve already labeled as a BUST. And they, for some reason, think that he’ll bring top dollar in a trade scenario? Might want to rethink that.

    In his first 2 years here, OJ was targeted a total of 87 times, and caught 60 of those (69%). Many if not most were intermediate to deep passes (he averaged 16.6 yards/reception in BOTH years, with an 11.5 yards/target average). Then last year … his first with Byron Leftwich as his OC … he got targeted 53 times and caught 34 (64.2%) for a 13.5 yards/reception, but only 8.7 yards/target. So his YAC stayed the same, but his depth of target went down, considerably.

    Hmmm, so OJ’s a BUST? Similar situation for Cam Brate BTW (yards/target down and yards/reception down). Is he a BUST also? The QB throwing to BOTH TEs all 3 years OJ has been here is no longer with us. Hmmm. Something about him having a bad 5th year as I recall? How about folks take a close look at our OC’s use of his 2 monstrous TE targets (who’d both produced pretty good results before he got here) BEFORE we label our TEs a bust. My suspicion is that with Tom Brady at QB, we’ll see MUCH BETTER performance coming out of both OJ and Cam this year.

  17. '79 Defense Says:

    I wonder if the Bucs will ask for that new jersey back that they showed him unwrapping in one of their videos.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    OJ is not a bust. That’s just silly.

  19. BringBucsBack Says:

    Yea! Another high 1st round pick that we can’t coach and nurture (or even use) to maturity. They will not receive anything near a second for Howard. How about inclusion of TEs into the O, especially with Brady here and for the love of god, coach ‘em up!

    With so much physical ability, one would think Belacheat could get this guy to catch the ball and run good routes, no?! Why can’t we?

    Wish I was paid millions to handle my company’s lifeblood like Pokémon cards.

  20. Dewey Selmon Says:

    He looks like Tarzan and plays like Jane. This will only fuel speculation that Gronk will come back. I doubt it and we would have to wrangle the rights from the Pats.

  21. Jeff Says:

    Dump Howard for a 3rd rounder and trade that pick to the Pats for Gronk.

  22. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Uh-oh!!!!!!! Looks like ole stale biscuit is now going “to fix” OJ Howard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is good as gone then!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They say its “player development” but in “reality” it has only “player replacement”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe ole stale biscuit needs to “fix” the gm!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Old Sombrero Says:

    Good move if they can pull it off. Brate is much more effective than Howard. I didn’t understand why we drafted Howard to begin with.

  24. lowercaseg Says:

    This only happens if gronk is thinking about coming back

  25. D-Rome Says:

    Yesterday Joe braved the unknown and traveled to a doctor’s appointment

    You’re the hero we need, not the one we deserve.

    Man, if OJ Howard doesn’t work out here that would be THREE first round draft BUSTS for Jason Licht including the #1 overall pick.

  26. Allbuccedup Says:

    Trade Howard to the Patriots for 4th rounder and a Gronk release sounds fair.

  27. Ndog Says:

    I wonder if Brady watched the film last year and said boy that guy caused Jameis like six turnovers last year I don’t want that bum hurting me get him out of here?

  28. 2020 Year of the GOAT Says:

    well said … once again thx for doing all the research…..

    Defense Rules Says:
    April 16th, 2020 at 7:14 am
    So many JBFers want to trade a TE who they’ve already labeled as a BUST

    oj howard is a high character hard working kid who does exactly what he is asked to do by his coaches….. the RT needed help he stayed in to block….. PERIOD!
    Iam not syaing he is a pro bowler ……. but it is a great time to move him and we have a lot of depth at TE……

  29. Joeypoppems Says:

    My complete thoughts on this situation.

    – OJ Howard was drafted to be a part of Koetter’s offense which utilized 2 TE sets a majority of the time. Arians has a history of not utilizing TEs. The scheme change immediately lessened his value on the Bucs.

    – OJ Howard did have a down year last year, but his production lines up with how TEs in the past have produced in Arians system. I wouldnt say its fair to call him a bust.

    – Tom Brady loved to utilize the TEs in New England, but this isnt New England’s system. Sure they might adopt plays from New England’s system, but the offense will like remain the same, which means 3WR on the field a majority of the time.

    – IF the Bucs choose to pick up his 5th year option (not sure how expensive it would be) between him and Brate you will be paying probably somewhere in the 13-14mil/year range to TEs which I honestly expect to still be under utilized even with Brady here.

    – Trading Howard does make sense. And no, its not because of Gronk rumors. The team is in a 2 year window to win now. If you arent going to utilize him to his potential then flip him for a pick to boost a different position group.

    – Howard’s Athletic profile + contract does make him a moveable assett. With that being said, I think they will likely get a 3rd round pick at best for him. That 3rd round pick coukd be a key contributor in a different area.

    I hope they do find a trade partner for him. His talent is being wasted in this system and the return you could get for him could help you win now when, imo, OJ Howard doesnt. If they can get an extra 3rd round pick for him that could become a WR3 (an important need to fill), a rotational DT, IOL depth, maybe a RB if they still need one at that point (Im a Zack Moss stan).

    However, I dont like the idea of using him in a package to move up in the draft. Imo that diminishes the return you are getting on him. They could move up a few spots relatively cheap (4th rounder and 2021 day 2 pick maybe). Imo, Howard will bring better return by just trading him for a pick.

  30. ZZbuc Says:

    Tha would be really surprising to me….Why a very good TE that changes his role on his second year, and the new QB is going to use him as Koetter did, now is expendable? In case this is accurate, just find it weird and even more….STUPID!!!
    Why would you bring Grong back when he is body is all mess up? Just STUPID!!!

  31. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Joe – I hope the trip to the doctor’s office was nothing serious.

  32. Architek Says:

    No one posting on this site knows what’s really going on in the locker room or in the film room and on Sundays. Might as well chill and let it play out.

  33. Wayne PEREZ Says:

    Howard Winston kicked hargraves how many high picks are we going to waste fire Jason light now what a terrible gm

  34. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Is it really a surprise from anyone that the rest of the league passed on him and that he fell in the draft for a reason?

    That everyone else in the draft saw something they didn’t like about OJ and avoided him.

    But Lightbulb thought it was his “smarter than everyone” prowess that got them OJ.

  35. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Architek, that’s the fun part of being a fan, trying to figure things out before they happen.

  36. Joe Says:

    The team is in a 2 year window to win now. If you arent going to utilize him to his potential then flip him for a pick to boost a different position group.


  37. 813bucboi Says:

    Ndog Says:
    April 16th, 2020 at 8:42 am
    I wonder if Brady watched the film last year and said boy that guy caused Jameis like six turnovers last year I don’t want that bum hurting me get him out of here?

    its always about JW with you….smh

    you’re one sad and lonely man….lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  38. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    An OT can easily be there at 14. I think the trade is going to be OJ for the rights to Gronk. Belichick doesn’t like paying high salaries to older vets, and Gronk is just that. The problem would be finding the money to pay Gronk. If they extend his contract for 3 years, they can lessen the cap hit for this year, and next year the cap goes way up making him easily affordable.

  39. ZZbuc Says:

    Don´t bring Gronck back…you are bringing a veteran, with tons of injuries that didn´t play for a year. He will demand an interesting aount of money, and our cap is not that big.
    Is just a move with of risk!!! There is NO guarentee he will be the one who use to be…..And you are getting rid of a player that can be a beast with Brady…..again just plain stupidity at it´s best!!!!

  40. Joeypoppems Says:

    Why are people talking about Gronk? Doesnt make any sense for the Bucs to add Gronk.

    The Bucs were in 11 personnel (3WR sets) 62% of the time last season. They arent going to use 2 TEs at the same time they way Koetter did. The TE position just isnt as featured in Arians’offense.

    That is what makes OJ expendable. That was the logic behind fans wanting to trade Brate last year. You only need 1 TE and depth in this system. We already have that.

    Not to mention Gronk has been injured more often than not the past few seasons, which is why he retired. And people want to trade for him and pay him? Lol

    You guys are putting too much stcok into what Brady did in New England translating to the Bucs in 2020.

    Needing a RB that is a capable receiver translates. Brady loved to target RBs in NE and Arians loved to use RBs in creative ways in the passing game. That makes sense.

    Brady targeting TEs in NE doesnt translate to Arians’ system because the system just doesnt utilize them the same. They will adopt plays from NE, not the entire system. Arians’ aint changing that much at this point.

  41. Ndog Says:

    No 813 with me it’s always about the truth which you seem to like often.

  42. Youngbucs Says:

    Ndog I wonder if Brady watched the film last year. And said to the Bucs man I wouldn’t make those boneheaded throws I’ll show you guys what to do with these weapons. You say people bash Winston but you take shots every article you get a chance. Keep changing the culture and building the roster BA. Draft status and position don’t matter anybody can get it.
    PS does he have a job yet asking for a friend

  43. Youngbucs Says:

    The truth is Winston is mediocre deal with it

  44. Joe Says:

    Why are people talking about Gronk?

    Because a dog started a rumor.

  45. Marine Buc Says:

    I would be fine with trading OJ Howard as long as we receive a decent value. Moving up from pick #14 to grab a starting RT would be fine. Getting a second round pick for him would be fine. Maybe a trade for Trent Williams (as long as we could afford to sign him) would be fine.

    Anything less would be very disappointing.

  46. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Oh hey, NPUPPY brought up JW again.

    But he says he never does that… 🤷🏻‍♂️

  47. Destinjohnny Says:

    Jason is a fool

  48. Defense Rules Says:

    @AKickInTheBucNuts … “That everyone else in the draft saw something they didn’t like about OJ and avoided him”.

    Or MAYBE the 18 teams who picked ahead of us had OTHER NEEDS that they were more focused on? Higher priorities? TEs & RBs aren’t normally Rnd 1 picks UNLESS they’re viewed as being really exceptional. And based on his college performance at Bama, OJ was. There were THREE TEs picked in Rnd 1 in 2017 … OJ, Evan Engram (Giants) and David Njoku (Browns). Engram’s gotten the most work, but I’d still say that OJ is better.

    Should the Bucs have picked him in Rnd 1? Not really. We had much bigger NEEDS that year and there were BPAs remaining who could’ve matched up very well against those needs (personally would’ve loved to see us have drafted Tackle Ryan Ramczyk that year). BUT … it is what it is, and we are where we are.

    OJ struggled last year IMO, for whatever reasons, but I still consider him to be a better overall talent that Brate and Auclair, our other 2 primary TEs. Anyone who’s followed Brady probably recognizes that he loves his RBs & TEs.

    Pats won the SB in 2018. Brady’s primary targets? RB James White (123 targets … in 16 games). WR Julian Edelman (108 targets … in 12 games). TE Rob Gronkowski (72 targets … in 13 games). Yards/target? 6.1 & 7.9 & 9.5 respectively. Short to intermediate throws IOW. But the 3 of them got pretty good YAC and that’s what made the difference. Brady has always been good about throwing to the open guy & letting him get yardage after the catch.

    Pats also won the SB in 2016. Similar picture with the RBs & TEs. WR Edelman had 159 targets; RB White had 86 targets & TE Marcellus Bennett had 73 targets (Gronkowski only played in 8 games that year with only 38 targets).

    For those saying Brady will have to conform to BA’s offense, think again. You don’t bring in the GOAT … with 6 SB rings … then tell him to adapt to the way YOU do things. You adjust to what he does best. And if you don’t (especially in a screwed up year like this is) you would have just missed a golden opportunity to become relevant again.

  49. Fat ginger joe Says:

    Wow,ndogs the funniest ive seen on here

  50. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Ndog Says:
    April 16th, 2020 at 8:42 am
    I wonder if Brady watched the film last year and said boy that guy caused Jameis like six turnovers last year I don’t want that bum hurting me get him out of here?

    Ndog Says:
    April 16th, 2020 at 9:46 am
    No 813 with me it’s always about the truth which you seem to like often.

    So NPUPPY, your first comment ended in a question mark but your second comment says it’s the truth? I don’t understand. Please elaborate bc how is a question the truth?

  51. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    OJ will be on the team at the start of the season. I’m not against trading him, especially if it helps us land a RT, but I don’t see it happening…although Licht is pretty good at working out trades.

  52. Wesley Says:

    Would be a giant mistake.

  53. The Coroner Says:

    Physical talent not connected to the brain well. Might be lucky to get a third round pick for him. Could use that in another pick to move up. Love to get Jedrick Wills, but he’ll probably be gone at the point .

  54. Ndog Says:

    YoungBucs how can anyone believe you’re asking for a friend when it’s very clear you have none?

    Again 813 you show your lack of intelligence. The question mark at the beginning on the first post was not the point. The point was there was many turnovers caused by OJ that I’m sure Brady was not thrilled with but again I wouldn’t expect you to actually understand pretty much anything.

    But despite the fact that there were many turnovers caused by OJ I’m sure you’d like to debate that because again that’s what you do, make claims that are completely ridiculous and idiotic, par for the course.

  55. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    According to NDog JW was responsible for only 4 of his picks and, without him, Evans and Godwin are Michael Clayton and Arrelious Benn. He will lead his next team to the Super Bowl – if they have a good kicker who never misses a kick – and throw for just under 8000 yards.

  56. Craig Says:

    I think it is all smoke and mirrors. Brady can make OJ better by throwing him accurate passes.

    Tight ends are not wide receivers that can do contortions to catch a duck. OJ tried and failed to grab passes to the wrong shoulder, behind the back passes and passes closer to the defender than to him.

    Leftwich will cater this offense to Brady and that means it will be good for the tight ends and for Godwin on an inside slant.

    OJ might make it to the Pro-Bowl this season.

  57. Bucsfan951 Says:


    How many turnovers was caused by oj last year?

  58. Youngbucs Says:

    Ndog blah blah a bet if Winston keep balling like he been doing. He’ll b out of the league in 2 years top. That’s if he even gets a chance to suck anymore.

  59. Bucsfan951 Says:


    “Again 813 you show your lack of intelligence. The question mark at the beginning on the first post was not the point.”

    I imagine that was directed towards me since I called you out on it. You’re going to comment on my intelligence when you have a poorly written sentence structure? I’m sorry you did not use the correct punctuation to get your point across. I read it the way you typed it.

    Who has the lack of intelligence?

    Again, you’re missing the point. You assume (as fact) that Brady has made the decision to trade oj when in fact, you don’t anything to back up that claim. So it’s not a fact, it’s an opinion.

  60. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Again tho NPUPPY, you bring up JW’S name into something that doesn’t have anything to do with him.

  61. Youngbucs Says:

    Ndog there’s 1 person who u believe is your friend. Jameis1of1 do you even know his name or what he looks like lol. Putting all your faith n some clown hiding behind a Twitter. Jameis and his camp should stop paying that guy every dollar counts especially when you’re unemployed.

  62. 813bucboi Says:


    thank you….lol…

    that mutt has been chasing JW and his tail for so long he cant even remember who post what…lol….

    the funny part is, this clown actually thinks brady came in, watched film and said, player X,Y & Z dont need to be here…..lol….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  63. Swampbuc Says:

    Whoever they trade him to, have them throw in one of their their starting safeties.

  64. Youngbucs Says:

    Best believe Brady watched bucs film. Him and his wife had popcorn and watched that Jameis Winston horror film.

  65. fb permanently moderated Says:

    Joe Says:
    April 16th, 2020 at 9:54 am
    Why are people talking about Gronk?

    Because a dog started a rumor.

    LMFAO… My dog is a lot smarter than quite a few people I know.

    But I agree Joe, that is silly season stuff.

  66. fb permanently moderated Says:

    OJ is a physical specimen, but 40% of this game is instincts, and another 40% is want-to. Looks like steak, plays like hamburger, etc.

    I wish OJ would develop, but I think that if you watched his film at Alabama and didn’t have his combine numbers, you wouldn’t think as highly of him. Maybe Licht won’t make those mistakes this draft. The tape don’t lie!!!

    On another note, as one topic that was recently discussed, even in respect to Jameis, Is that some people are so athletically gifted, they don’t have to try as hard all the way through their youth and college. And they simply aren’t forced to learn the game. Once in the NFL, there are some elite athletes, that get by, while less gifted guys learn the game and become all pros or better. Barber, Brooks, and even Sapp (an athlete, but undersized) learned that fight.

  67. stpetebucsfan Says:

    There is an old investment axiom. Buy low and sell high. This would be an admission that OJ is a bust..buying high and selling low.

    I think he deserves another year with Brady. If Mr Turnover got five…OJ should get one more and he’s not expensive.

    I get that Arians doesn’t typically use TE’s but he has used them in the past when the situation dictated. Brady will have a LOT of input into the redesign of our offense…I suspect this could be a major area.

  68. Joeypoppems Says:


    Trading OJ doesnt mean he is a bust. He was drafted to fit into one offensive scheme and then they changed to a scheme where he wasnt as featured. Not fair to put the bust label on him because of that.

    Then the other problem is this. While it does make sense to give him another year with Brady, the timing of it makes it difficult. They have to decide whether or not to pick up his 5th yr option on May 3rd.

    If they decline the option, he loses any and all trade value because he will be a FA at the end of the year. Also you will have to pay both him amd Brate if he earns the new contract.

    If you pick up the option, you are fully committed for 2 years because the 5th year option is guaranteed. And at that point he might end up just not working out in this system.

    If they really are looking to trade him, they have a very small window to do it, 2 weeks to be exact.

  69. SOEbuc Says:

    They don’t need Howard because BA doesn’t run a two TE scheme. The scheme will change a bit for Brady, but not in that department. That’s why it’s very dumb to bring in Gronk. We already have two 1,000+ yard WR and pro bowl TE that are over the middle receivers. Jameis didn’t get 5,000+ yards connecting deep with AB all day.

    We drove the ball down field steadily and it worked (in the receiver department at least).

    …now think of W’s and yards without 30 ints. Hmmm???

  70. Joeypoppems Says:

    I looked up TEs production in Arians’ offense during the season last year. I dont remember the exact numbers, but i believe in Arians’ entire NFL career as an offensive coach a TE has only gone over 600 yards 2 times (Heath Miller twice).

    We have Evans and Godwin. We are going to draft a RB to help out in the passing game. A WR3 will be drafted. We still have Brate. Plus, like i said, 62% of the time 3 WRs were on the field.

    If they can get a Day 2 pick for Howard they should absolutely pull the trigger on that. He wont be utilized enough to be worth investing in for 2 more seasons so get something for him while you can.

  71. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Certainly accept your points. But if we trade him for a 2nd that is a major loss!

    I view any major loss as a bust. However I certainly concede if we trade him for far less than we invested in draft capital the bust may reflect more on Buc’s management than OJ.

    BTW I’m not on the OJ bandwagon…just thinking we don’t know everything.
    Maybe he’s lazy…maybe he lacks the courage to catch in traffic…lazy…maybe he’s just gotten a bad deal landing on a team than never used him properly.

    I’m not sure I follow your contract logic but that could be just me. If we wait and have to resign him..if he has any value he can still be traded..and in fact won’t his 5th year salary still be lower than TE FA prices? I honestly don’t know the answer to that one.

  72. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joeypoppems … “They have to decide whether or not to pick up his 5th yr option on May 3rd.” Why pick up his 5th year option in any event? Just because he was a Rnd 1 pick? If he has a good 2020, that would help us make the playoffs. We could re-sign him as a FA if we choose or let him go (maybe get a comp pick?) .

    SOEbuc … Brate doesn’t block for beans. Last year he was 36-for-55 (65.5%) with 311 yards in 16 games. OJ was 34-for-53 (64.2%) with 459 yards in 14 games. Brate was 5.7 yards/target & 8.6 yards/catch while OJ was 8.7 yards/target & 13.5 yards/catch. I’d take OJ out of the two of them. And out of curiosity, who’s the Pro Bowl TE that we have?

  73. Joeypoppems Says:


    This is what i meant as far as the contract situation goes.

    The reason OJ is a moveable trade asset despit his lack of production is his athletic profile and he has 1 cheap year left and another year of team control with the 5th year option on his contract.

    If he is still on the team after the draft, they need to make the decision to pick up his 5th year option, or decline it.

    If they decline it, he will become a FA after the 2020 season, so a team has no reason to trade for him if they can just sign him in 2021 FA without giving up anything.

    If they pickup the 5th year option then he is almost guaranteed to be on the team for the next 2 years because the 5th year option is fully guaranteed. You are taking away part of his appeal as a trade assett because he wont have the cheap year on his contract. A team will be trading for a 1 year fully guaranteed contract. If you get anything for him at that point it will be way less than it could be now.

    My point is this. If the staff and FO has questions about him being a difference maker over the next 2 years, then they need to try to trade him before or during the draft while his value is as high as it can be.

    If he is still on the roster after the draft is over you are either giving him a 1 year prove it deal. Which hey, maybe Brady does bring more out of him and he plays well. Or it can be what it was last year and he walks in FA and we get nothing from it except MAYBE a comp pick.

    Or you are committing to him for 2 years based off of a “what if” because of Brady’s pressence.

    Unfortunately, they dont really have the luxury of seeing the Brady-to-Howard connection before making a decision. They have to make the decision based off of what they saw in 2019 and a 2020 projection.

    If they dont think he can make an impact on the Bucs in 2020 then they should absolutely trade him for a Day 2 pick to try to get someone who can.

  74. danr Says:

    was he a jameis dude? upset his dude is gone?

  75. Joeypoppems Says:

    @Defense Rules

    A 2021 comp pick doesnt help you win in 2020. We got a 2 year window with Brady. If the staff doesnt think Howard can help win in 2020 then they should absolutely try to trade him and get someone they think can.

    Thats what i was saying about the timing of it. They dont have the luxury to see how he will work with Brady before having to make a decision.

    They have to make a decision based off of 2019 and a 2020 projection. Plus if they already know they are declining the option the they will 100% trade him. It would be foolish not to.

  76. CalBucsFan Says:

    Watch Bucs swap O.J., their 2nd Rd pick with and a 4th Rd pick for NE’s 1st and 5th Rd pick.

  77. Capt.Tim Says:

    Howard has alot of talent.
    But, as Ive said for the last 2 years- he lacks passion and focus.
    If you are gonna play with Brady- you better be passionate.
    They trade Howard for a 2nd And 5th round Pick.
    Draft, in any Order- RT, RB, Safety.
    3rd round-pick up a DT to replace Nassib, whos loss as ILB/DT is being greatly underestimated.
    4th- Slot WR, from incredibly talented Class.
    5th-6th- trenches

    Then Sign Gronk on 2yr contract, and a Veteran CB.
    Gronk/Brate/Miller will be greatly utilized in middle of the field.

    All done.

  78. Buczilla Says:

    We need a hell of a lot more than a tackle and giving away picks is beyond dumb to get one. If we can get a 3rd round pick for Howard, I’d trade him in a heartbeat. Otherwise, let’s see if Brady can turn him into a viable player.

  79. Clean House Says:

    Failure of imagination by Arians and Leftwhich.

  80. lowercaseg Says:

    Anybody got any ideas if we would be able to trade for jamal adams from the jets?

  81. Afo Says:

    Jamal Adams might cost 2 first round picks mate, he’s too good expensive

  82. JimmyJack Says:

    Was one of the supporters of the OJ pick. Actually wanted the Miami TE in that draft thinking OJ would not be there.

    But he hasn’t lived up to his draft stock since he’s been here. Was supposted to be a good blocker coming out. That was a lie. The only thing I’ve seen he can really do is run if there are no tackles around.

    It’s been three years. He is who he is. Blaming the play calls is just closing your eyes to how big of a let down he is when he has had his chances…….not to mention how poor of a blocker he is.

    Personally don’t like staying hopeful with a player after three years of dissapointment but I would make a exception since we do have Brady. Though if Tom thought OJ was such this great fit like all y’all fans are saying I highly doubt he would be involved in trade rumors.

    We got more then enough weapons without OJ and a nice d aft to add more. And if you look at TE success Tom has had it’s been TEs who make catches over the middle and aren’t afraid to run through tackles………OJ doesn’t do that. It may not be this dream situation y’all are thinking it is.

    I truely will feel better about this team if we trade OJ.

  83. JimmyJack Says:

    All this gushing about OJ over the years reminds me of all the gushing over Noah Spence. Fans get all hyped up on how fast a player is in track shoes and how high they can jump.

    Three years in and OJ has still never had as good a season as an undrafted TE had the year before he got here. Y’all wake me up when the hype is about production.

  84. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Joe tried but let me try again.


    Gronkowski said in interviews after retirement. “I had nine surgeries and probably had, like, 20 concussions in my life — no lie. I remember five blackout ones.”

    The NFL would be “brain dead”(deliberate choice of words) if they allowed Gronk back into the game after that admission. They would have NO defense in an already precarious position re head trauma.

  85. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    JimmyJack Says:
    “All this gushing about OJ over the years reminds me of all the gushing over Noah Spence.”


    OJ flinches out of bounds when faced with a 5’10”, 190 lb cornerback.

    Spence spent how many years blowing outside containment responsibility? Most high school coaches wouldn’t put up with that, but the lowly Bucs continued to run him out there because “potential.”

    Separating the chaff from the wheat.

  86. JimmyJack Says:

    St Pete so you are saying the NFL should ban Gronk? That’s not fair bro. And not to mention the players are union workers. It’s not just the league that gets a say in the matter.

  87. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:


    St Pete doesn’t believe that people should be allowed to make their own decisions. Papa Daddy government functionaries care about us, and know what is best for us.

  88. Capt.Tim Says:

    Bucs are shopping Howard, yet many of you dont think Gronk has made a commitment to Tampa.
    Gronk had a year to heal.
    Gronk and Brady may want to get out of Bellicheats shadow.

    They win in Tampa- statistically the worst professional franchise in Sports history, then they prove that THEY were the reason the Pats won all those games.
    You’d have to be crazy competitive to think like that.

    Yep- sounds like Brady. This guy is a Winner, and hes not letying anyone take credit for his talent!
    Good for him