Hard To Imagine O.J. Howard Being Released

August 26th, 2021

Listed among NFL cut candidates.

It’s that time of year again where people are trying to predict who will make the final NFL 53-man rosters and who will be sent packing.

And for Joe, it seems incredibly far-fetched to see Bucs tight end O.J. Howard released or traded. But a well-respected NFL observer thinks Howard’s in trouble.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com has a list of the top candidates in the NFL who will either be wearing new team jerseys in a couple of weeks or who will be cold-calling NFL general managers looking for work.

The No. 3 guy on Rosenthal’s list is Howard.

It’s a shame that we might not get to see a fully healthy Howard play with Tom Brady. Howard is the team’s third (or even fourth) tight end and doesn’t seem all the way back from his torn Achilles. The team also likes Tanner Hudson at the position. If untradeable, Howard’s $6 million guaranteed contract may counterintuitively secure his spot on the Bucs. Tampa Bay’s the rare team that could afford the luxury of sitting out Howard for much of the season before seeing if he could help them in the stretch run.

First off, Joe is of the mind Howard is untradeable. Think about it: He has a guaranteed $6 million salary for this year that a team would have to pick up. Secondly, and most importantly, it doesn’t appear Howard has fully recovered from his blown Achilles in October.

Just what team is going to offer a broken down-marker for any player who is expensive and not 100 percent and still recovering from a major injury?

Besides, if Howard can get back to 100 percent — remember he’s only been practicing for four weeks — he could be a serious weapon for the Bucs and park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, smartphone-phobic, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, roller-coaster-scared, numbers-rules-peeved, helmet-tossing, football-punting, Bucs-Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.

Then again, “could be” has always been the issue for Howard.

Joe would be stunned if the Bucs released Howard.

51 Responses to “Hard To Imagine O.J. Howard Being Released”

  1. Biff Barker Says:

    First off, Joe is of the mind Howard is untradeable.

    Agree Joe. What if a vet becomes available after the cuts? The $6M could sure buy a few carrots for the pony. The money is one issue, the roster spot for another pass catching TE is another.

  2. Joe Says:

    The $6M could sure buy a few carrots for the pony.

    Guaranteed salary. 🙁

  3. Biff Barker Says:

    Cant see rehabbing an often injured guy all year to see if he can live up to his draft pick.

    Cut bait.

  4. Beeej Says:

    Could he be put on IR and thus not occupy a slot on the 53 man roster?

  5. Biff Barker Says:

    Guaranteed salary? My bad. Did not know that. The Bucs are in a quandary.

  6. Joe Says:

    Could he be put on IR and thus not occupy a slot on the 53 man roster?

    Sure. And that could be what the Bucs do and bring him back later in the season.

    Cant see rehabbing an often injured guy all year to see if he can live up to his draft pick.

    Cut bait.

    Eh, his salary is guaranteed and he already counts against the cap. May as well keep him and hope you catch lightning in a bottle. There really is no positive in cutting him at this point.

  7. Swampbuc Says:

    Rosenthal is looking for clicks. That’s stupid.

  8. Bojim Says:

    Injured reserve?

  9. Bradley Says:

    He’s not getting cut for the Saints to pick up. They’re down to 1 TE

  10. Craig Says:

    It is actually really easy to consider him traded.

    The hard part will be finding someone who can notice when he is gone. He is virtually invisible in his current form, maybe if he did something.

  11. PassingThru Says:

    Joe’s right, that $6 million is guaranteed. It’s the fifth year option that was exercised by the team prior to the Achilles injury.

    What you’re looking at now is whether Licht & Co. think that OJ Howard isn’t worth keeping on the roster. The only way he’s waived is if they’re convinced he’ll have less impact than another TE. While the $6 million is guaranteed it does represent a sunk cost.

    For the record, I doubt he gets waived. I’m obviously not his physician or trainer, but as I’ve said time and time again, it can take a year before you really know how much you can come back from an Achilles tear.

  12. Mike Says:

    They will work to get him healthy for the playoffs. That is all…

  13. Robert Says:

    I would question relying on him late in the year or playoffs. could easily see him getting the dropsies after being rusty and costing us a game.

    go with the ones that got you there and swallow the 6 mill.

  14. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Is he a candidate for practice squad? IR seems like the most likely early season solution.

  15. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    Well, it’s not hard to imagine OJ being released.

    I just did it.

    It was easy.

  16. Pewter report Says:

    So called experts lol

  17. AMI_Chris Says:

    The Lightning have been able to find teams with available cap space that are willing to take bad contracts. The Bolts had to add draft choices or prospects to entice teams to take those contracts. Football is a different sport…tough to add a new piece to an offense AFTER all of training camp.

  18. Eddie Marz Says:

    The upside of Howard is great. Give him some rope this year. Remember AB didn’t start playing till week nine last year and he was productive.

  19. dmatt Says:

    2018,2019,2020, If,If,If, Howard this n If Howard that. How bout this…”If” a frog had a glass butt everytime he jumped it’ll break.
    What does two passes dropped right in his hands has to do with achilles, rust, or non injured arm? Godwin played with an injured hand n didn’t miss a beat.
    OJ doesn’t have the desire n heart to play the position. Take away all his injuries n he’s still too timid n passive to play with the big dogs. Let’s just sever ties with this guy. He doesn’t have the heart. Any player that regularly anticipates contact n gives up on plays does not deserve to play in the nfl.

  20. Joe in Michigan Says:

    IR would be my guess. The Bucs might need him later in the year, same as they did with Brate last year. Howard needs to work on his bricks for hands and/or concentration issues, for sure.

  21. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I am all for placing OJ on IR. Since his salary is already guaranteed and no one will be takers on a trade, might as well stash him for later when possible injuries mount up.

  22. Stanglassman Says:

    I saw this article. Seems ridiculous along with most of the other candidates. I thought OJ was in the top section they thought would be traded and the bottom players were possible cut candidates. I could be wrong I just skimmed it. It seemed like classic click bait article.

  23. Bobby M. Says:

    I think a team with a young QB, he’s got some value…..especially with a one yr deal to look at him. Its hard to hang on to a 3rd string TE at $6million per year….especially when you’re wanting to resign Godwin.

  24. D-Rome Says:

    I agree Joe, it would be stunning if Howard was released. I’m still not going to throw the towel on Howard yet but I’m ready to throw it.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    Howard ain’t going nowhere.


  26. Buckaroo Boozie Says:

    Hope they work with Howard and let him get up to speed… Otherwise I will have to throw away the cup with his image all over it that was given out last Saturday Night at the Tennessee debacle 🙄

  27. THERUTH Says:

    Joe creating news , The guy is getting back into game shape as well. He will be fine, listen to Podcast JOE is negative about most things or has conspiracy theory built up…

  28. sasquatch Says:

    If you’re pretty sure you’re not gonna get much from him regardless, then you’re swallowing 6 million for nothing either way. Might make more sense to use the roster spot for a guy who would actually contribute on special teams… I mean, it sucks, but these are hard decisions. Could he be shelved on IR? I guess. Might as well, if you’re gonna pay him anyway.

  29. BA4President Says:

    If a ton of injuries happen during the season, he’s likely better than anyone you’d find on the street.

  30. BradyBucs Says:

    Bucs aren’t cutting Howard, that’s crazy talk.

    He’s worth the risk to see if he’s able to play well this season. He DID have some great plays last year before getting hurt.

  31. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Putting him on the practice squad is an interesting thought……if a team took him off the squad, they would be obligated to pay him his $6 mil…….thus taking it off our books…..we wouldn’t get a player in return…..but better than cutting him.
    Cutting him outright makes zero sense….we would owe him $6 mi and get nothing in return.
    I think he very well could be placed on the IR. If he recovers well enough to help later in the year, great.

  32. Robert Says:

    if they keep him he should play for free next year

  33. Goodscotch B. Good Says:

    I agree with sasquatch. Throw him on IR, see how the roster is shaking out in 6 -8 weeks. Then it’s decision time, his trade value will be higher then anyway because teams will surely incur injuries at that position… The drops in practice and games are concerning fo schizzle…

  34. Ridley_Scott Says:

    Injury or no injury, rehas or no rehab, you either know how to catch a ball or you don’t. I want Howard on this team, but his drops have been ugly. Incredible upside for this guy, just wonder if he’s starting to go upside down…

  35. Crickett Baker Says:

    Well, I am of two minds. I agree with Sasquatch and dmatt. One makes more “business” sense, I guess but his bad plays outnumber his good ones, recently, and I am all for seeing him on another team or never again.

  36. Marine Buc Says:

    I would be totally OK with letting OJ go… Looks like Tarzan plays like Jane. The dude can’t catch and he isn’t great at blocking. He can run fast in a straight line… That’s about it.

    Hey OJ – please prove me wrong…

  37. Eckwood Says:

    He doesn’t have the mouth of Gearald McCoy but he plays similar on the field !!! Both super talented , both more interested in getting recognition via the talent label than the DOG / Ball Out / performance on the field week in and week out !!! News Paper Cowboys !! Love to put on the hat but don’t like to ride a horse!!!!

  38. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If we are stuck paying him no matter what, then why not keep him ?
    He does have so much potential, but so far has not shown it.

  39. 1sparkybuc Says:

    I’m good with the practice squad. If he comes back for the playoffs, great. Whatever happens, don’t give him another contract. Durability is just too much of an issue with him. We’re not going to be able to pay every player what they want next year anyway. Keep the guys who are dependable. Let OJ go.

  40. Biff Barker Says:

    This team has had its share of 1st round picks on the 5 year plan.

  41. crazybucs_CL Says:

    …keep saying the same thing: Trade Him! Get whatever u can. He has been a bust since the beginning. They didn’t even need it him, but they thought it was a steal at the draft….he was just there…. and he was a bust.

  42. PassingThru Says:

    For now OJ is damaged goods. It doesn’t matter if you IR him as that’s the way any level-headed GM is going to view him in a few months. The only path to trading him is to play him, hope for improvement over the first few weeks of the season, and then dial around to teams who might need a TE due to injury or poor performance. In that case the Bucs would also have to eat most of his salary anyway to help make OJ attractive.

    And OJ is a sunk cost. If you keep him he costs $6 million. If you waive him he costs $6 million. So his salary should have no bearing on the decision as to keeping him or waiving him. Many terrible business decisions are made by management when they throw good resources after a bad investment, all because they refuse to acknowledge what a sunk cost is.

    I still say keep him unless the physician and trainer give a thumbs down as to improvement. If they project that OJ on 8/26 is the same OJ you’ll see on 12/01, then Licht & Co. have to make a decision as to whether Tanner Hudson can contribute more during the 2021 season.

  43. Wild Bill Says:

    I want to believe in OJ. What bothered me most is I did not see any sign of enthusiasm during the game. He did not look like he enjoyed being out there. Kiss of death for any athlete. No fire in the eyes, no fire in the belly.

  44. allbuccedup Says:

    I don’t really care what they do with him just please don’t resign him unless he makes the pro bowl.

  45. unbelievable Says:

    No one is trading for that salary when he’s not healthy, and the Bucs won’t cut him just to have 6m in dead cap.

    He’s not going anywhere.

  46. sasquatch Says:

    Yeah, I would totally trade him, but nobody is going to take on 6 million for no return AND give up a draft pick or a decent player. I’d take a 7th rounder to unload the salary if it were offered.

  47. JimmyJack Says:

    Well when you read the article he lists Howard as a guy who could be a trade canidate. Theres a seperate list for good players who might get cut so they are pretty much saying Howard isnt getting cut…….Only might be moved if a trade offer comes.

    I say pull the trigger of you can trade Howard for a 5th or 6th. Lousy value but if you can make some CAP room and use that for something more useful we doing good.

  48. Buc4evr Says:

    Put him on IR until the playoffs. Should be fully recovered by then.

  49. Bucschamp Says:

    He’s slow, disoriented, recovering from injury, don’t block, now he’s fighting for 3rd spot behind gronk and brate. Hudson is right there. Tough life

  50. Tony Says:

    I could see somebody like Jacksonville trading for him if he’s traded.

  51. Jason Says:

    Joe needs to stick with “Mr. Seven Rings” nickname for Tom Brady. The “park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, smartphone-phobic, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, roller-coaster-scared, numbers-rules-peeved, helmet-tossing, football-punting, Bucs-Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady” is boring, unfunny, tired, and honestly annoying to constantly read.