“He Might Be A Pretty Good Trade Chip”

May 28th, 2021

It’s an annual tradition, O.J. Howard trade speculation and O.J. Howard injuries.

They go together like Big Storm beers and Hooters wings.

Through four NFL seasons, the Bucs’ first-round pick has played in just 42 games, and he’s coming off Achilles surgery with a fat, roughly $6 million salary as Tampa Bay picked up his fifth-year option.

Joe’s going to safely suggest that combination makes Howard untradeable today. However, what about in October?

That’s where the mind of Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian was going on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week with co-host Alex Marvez.

Polian sees the Bucs’ only weakness to be age and durability concerns. He specifically referenced Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul, Vita Vea and Lavonte David. Collectively, those are “legitimate question marks,” Polian said, when you’re looking at the greatness required to repeat as a Super Bowl champ.

If a need arises because of an injury or a steep player dropoff, Polian suggested Howard would be the first to go. “He might be a pretty good trade chip.”

Joe agrees wholeheartedly, assuming Howard looks good before the midseason trade deadline.

Joe’s all for keeping Howard, but don’t cling to the guy if there’s a need elsewhere. The Bucs offense was ferocious without Howard for most of last season, and being injury-prone like Howard has been often becomes a chronic condition.

42 Responses to ““He Might Be A Pretty Good Trade Chip””

  1. Buc1987 Says:

    What’s he worth?

    A bag of Doritos?

  2. zzbuc Says:

    It could be , makes sense, but I would keep it and see what happens this year….Gronk is not young at all…….

  3. View from 132 Says:

    No way he’s traded. Breakout year to earn a huge UFA contract elsewhere. When healthy, he’s a match up nightmare.

  4. SlyPirate Says:


    Also means “might not”.

    Licht couldn’t get a 4th round pick for Howard two years ago.

  5. Ben green Says:

    I’d cut his ass after June 1, and they probably will. 6 mill is a lot of dough for someone coming off an achilles, that they don’t really need anyway. He’d be a nice insurance policy if gronk goes down, but not at 6.

  6. Robert Says:

    MAKE HIM BLOCK. -and then block some more. and then put him on special teams. We have others who can produce more, why get him a big payday?

    He has to be the highest paid benchwarmer I can remember….

  7. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I was a little confused when Tampa drafted Howard. The team had Brate at the time and he just came off a good year. Tampa had other positional needs. Then Howard turned out to be injury prone. They sign him to his extension based on his future potential. Now after waiting for him to return from injury. So the fans can finally see this potential on the field. The possible plan is to showcase this “potential” in preseason to boost his trade value? At this point let the guy play a whole year. If he plays well stays healthy for a whole season sign him to a new contract. If not well…

  8. John Says:

    OJ simply has not lived up to expectations

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    Lavonte David is a question mark for repeat???? JPP is a question mark for a repeat??? LVD the best cover LB for like the past five years. Best in 2020. Not very HOF sounding when all you do is go down the roster and all you’re looking at is age.

    They’ll see what OJ can perform and learn from a same type of TE as Gronk. If he gets a significant injury, he will not be returning in 2022.

  10. Robert Says:

    “If he gets a significant injury, he will not be returning in 2022.”

    -he just broke the internet

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Remember last off season, when some fans said the Bucs HAD to trade Cam Brate? Remember when they didn’t, and Brate helped the Bucs win a Super Bowl? Same goes for OJ Howard this year.

  12. huh Says:

    Getting ANYTHING back in an OJ trade would be a huge boon for the Bucs. That guy is a bust.

  13. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    Sorry, but a bust is not someone who get injured. A bust is someone who actually can’t perform the task they were drafted for. This dude when healthy is a baller and a matchup problem. He’s not going anywhere. But yeah, give him away and then Gronk goes down and then what? Brate and who? Your boy Gronk has maybe one more season in him if he doesn’t call it quits after this year. I really don’t understand you guys over here. Always want to dump players, tagging folks busts when they’re not. Tighten up.

  14. Joe in Michigan Says:

    huh: If you think the Bucs getting a 7th Rounder for someone with Howard’s talent is a “huge boon”, I suggest you learn about football.

  15. Duane Says:

    Howard has the gifts and talent, but never the consistent production. He did play huge in the biggest games of his collegiate career, but that has not translated too well in the pros. $6 million is a lot for a guy that doesnt play when Brate consistently plays injured, produces, and keeps taking pay cuts. If Howard is balling by mid season, not likely, you keep him. If he isnt, there will not be value. Injuries to a number of players mentioned in the article is a problem that wont be solved by deadline trades. Not going to be able to replace any of those guys with a player you get for the cost of OJ’s services.

  16. Swampbuc Says:

    Stupid suggestion to trade OJ, He’s a lot younger than Gronk, younger than Brate, and excellent, and getting better.

    Bucs would trade a draft pick if they have a need.

  17. lambeau Says:

    Brate can’t block; if Gronk gets hurt, OJ is important.
    Polian is a blowhard who had Peyton Manning for 13 years and won it all once.

  18. SlyPirate Says:

    Dick LeBeau Jr. … A bust is simply an investment of time, effort, money with little to no return. A player that never plays due to injury can absolutely be a bust.

    Kijana Carter
    Robert Griffin III
    DeQuan Bowers
    Austin Seferian-Jenkins
    Noah Spence
    OJ Howard

    #1 Bust of All Time: Greg Oden

  19. PassingThru Says:

    Trade chip, as in Doritos?

    OJ looked like he was destined for a breakout season, there was some very good chemistry with Tom Brady. But as a trade chip, he’s only under contract for one season, he’s coming off an Achilles tear which is an injury that impacts explosiveness and cutting, and with a contract price at $6 million he isn’t a bargain.

    Keep him around. The absolute most you can pray for is a fourth round pick.

  20. Flying Dutchman Says:

    We better keep him.

  21. WillieG Says:

    He will be injured by the trade deadline

  22. SB Says:

    Vita Vea is a question mark???????????????

  23. JimmyJack Says:

    Trade him now for a box of twinkies. Hes a total bust. Getting anything is a win.

  24. Eddie Marz Says:

    LeBeau, agree with you wholeheartedly. Howard is not a bust and can be around for awhile. Let Brady work with him and see how good he really is. GO BUCS!

  25. Merlin Says:

    If Vea ever gets hurt again you lot will call him a bust as well. It’s pretty disgusting.

  26. PassingThru Says:

    OJ’s has greater depth value than trade value. Gronk’s injury history should be an ongoing concern.

  27. Cobraboy Says:

    I roll my eyes at idiot casual fans.

    The only way Howard gets traded is late in the season and if injuries cause the wheels to fall off, and then his value would be minimal.

    Besides, who exactly would trade for a guy with a handful of games left on his team-option rookie year, headed for FA?

    Injuries aside, Howard has shown signs of freakish ability. I do not understand why casuals are so adamant of getting rid of the guy, like they were about Brate.

    The Bucs have some of the best knowledgeable fans, and worst casual fans in the NFL.

  28. Bruce Says:

    @Ben green – Cutting him makes no sense at all unless you’re just looking to save some Glazer money. We use two tight ends pretty often, so having three capable options when 2/3 are injury-prone makes sense.

  29. Capt.Tim Says:

    “Howard is a matchup nightmare”
    “Howard has freakish ability”
    This is what happens, when you confuse someones press clipings, for his actual production.

    Howard was advertised as a freakish athlete. Just like Mark Barron and many other Alabama Athletes.
    But if you have that much talent on a team- it often makes average guys look like Superstars.

    So far, Howard has been a passionless, mediocre player.
    He shows a flash of brilliance. Then runs the wrong route.
    And you have to play thru the minor injuries- because the major injuries are gonna happen.

    I really hope he has a breakout year.
    But Ive been hoping that since we drafted him. And Ive been disappointed.
    If you think Otherwise- throw some of those great production stats at me!!
    Show me that years production, worthy of a high first round pick!
    List his annual production, since we drafted him.
    Show everyone this fantastic offensive weapon some of you are so impressed with

  30. pewter941 Says:

    If he’s not a fit, Bucs must acquit.

  31. Aceofaerospace Says:

    You can’t help the club if you’re sitting in the tub.

  32. capecodder Says:

    if he won’t block
    aloha trading block

  33. BucEmUp Says:

    Im done hearing about oj howard

  34. Lakelandsteve Says:

    I think regardless of the year he has he is gone next year. If he has a great year with the new salary cap some team will back up a brinks truck to his house. With his history of being injured every year I don’t think the Bucs resign him unless it’s a real team friendly deal.

  35. Allbuccedup Says:

    Brate is injury prone also and tanner hudson sucks. Your not going to get more than a 5th round pick for him anyway so just ride it out and if he doesn’t produce or is injured don’t resign him its as simple as that.

  36. JimmyJack Says:

    Allbucedup. I think its a little ridicilous to say Brate is injury prone also when comparing to OJ.

    I realize Brate has had his share of injuries but there a major difference in that Brate plays through his injury.

    I dont know if Brate played through any injury last year but I do know there were times during our playoff run where Brady leaned on Brate & he had some pivitol receptions for us…….Meanwhile OJ was on IR like he is at the end of most seasons…….A guy who cant get through a whole season is a really bad fit for a team thats looking to still be playing in Feburary.

    But i will agree with you about riding it out. Unless of course you can find some team willing to give up a box of twinkies for Howard.

  37. Oxycondoms Says:

    I agree that suh and jpp age should be a concern. Maybe licht and pick up a cut player like they did with fournette

  38. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    Agree with allbuccedup,,ride it out or don’t resign


    You get nothing for him now. Gronk is back to form and the offense has synergy. Give him a shot, less reps with Gronk, Brate and Husson should preserve him. Could be a nightmare for defenses Howard & Gronk in the red zone.

  40. TOM Says:

    As usual Polian has no idea what he’s talking about. Howard is a bust. I’m still trying to firure out why he was given a extra year. Especially in the 6 mil. range. He hadn’t shown anything. They sure didn’t need him to win the SB. We now know why other teams passed on him & he fell to the Bucs. The sooner he goes the better I’ll like it.

  41. Uhhmmm Says:

    If OJ Howard is not a bust of a draft pick, neither is Jameis Winston….

  42. Buckaroo Boozie Says:

    Definitely a make or break year for Howard and yes Bill Polian is an overrated, self absorbing douche bag 😆✌🏻