Russell Gage Is Excellent Insurance

March 16th, 2022
Russell Gage

New Bucs receiver Russell Gage

The first thing Joe thought of when learning the Bucs signed Dixie Chicks receiver Russell Gage was that this is insurance.

Insurance for Chris Godwin.

As we all know, Godwin had knee surgery this offseason. While everything seems to be OK with Godwin, there is a chance he won’t be ready to go until October.

Additionally, Gage has a lot of experience playing slot, which is what Godwin plays.

Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis breaks down Gage.

After catching 72-of-109 targets for 786 yards for four touchdowns in 2020, Gage stepped up again this past season, securing 66-of-94 targets for 770 yards and another four scores.

Atlanta was pressed to lean on Gage after Calvin Ridley left the team, which let Gage blossom.

After running 65.3% of his routes from the slot over his first three years in the league, Gage played outside on 50.4% of his routes in 2021.

This move says as much about the receiver depth on the Bucs than anything. The Bucs were up against the cap and spent valuable dollars on a receiver? Before last season, Joe thought the Bucs were obscenely deep at receiver. Tyler Johnson, the former heir apparent to Godwin in the slot, regressed last season.

And it sort of suggests to Joe that Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians didn’t trust his backups to log as many snaps if Godwin is slow to recover.

The fact Gage is trending up as an outside receiver tells Joe he will make a fine No. 3 receiver when Godwin returns.

18 Responses to “Russell Gage Is Excellent Insurance”

  1. ModHairKen Says:

    He caught 11 balls for 130 against the Bucs last December.

  2. Says:

    Better on our team than on the Dixie Chicks!

  3. ModHairKen Says:

    Can we talk about replacing Whitehead? Jaquan Brisker. Penn State.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘The fact Gage is trending up as an outside receiver tells Joe he will make a fine No. 3 receiver when Godwin returns’.

    Gage is most likely ‘insurance for Chris Godwin’ like you said Joe, especially in the short term, but I could see him eventually being used more as a replacement for AB than anything else. AB gave us excellent flexibility & I think that’s what they want out of Gage.

    Matty Ice is a pretty accurate passer, and yet Gage’s career catch percentage (67.2% largely from the slot apparently?) is about 10% lower than Godwin’s (77%) for these past 2 years that Chris been playing a lot of slot. Gage’s drop average (1 drop every 20 targets) is right at twice what Godwin’s is (1 drop every 40 targets).

    AB had a career catch percentage of 66.0% (about the same as Cage), was similar size (both about 185 lbs) and both are speedy & quick. With Tom Brady throwing to him, I’m guessing that Gage’s numbers will go up considerably.

  5. Itsgoodtobetheking Says:

    With this signing and the trade fir Mason means the Bucs can be more flexible at 27. They Don’t necessarily need to take a WR or an interior OL. DT or CB; hell even RB can be in play. Id still love a trade back.

  6. Bird Says:

    I watched his highlights. He does that short quick pass to slot well wherein he is running thru linebackers and safeties. Just like godwin does so well. And can play slot and just go sit in a spot over middle of field for a first down. But can also line up outside and throw jump ball

    I think he is insurance for next year as well as bucs realize that godwin is probably gone next year. Good solid receivers just got 20 mil a year this year. If godwin comes back healthy and becomes brady fav target, someone may just throw 25 mil per his way.

  7. westernbuc Says:

    I really love this signing. We need all the horses in the stable we can get

  8. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Gronk & Lenny and off to the races. Gage is gives the Bucs the #3 they were missing once AB was abruptly told to get the F out of here. Evan’s, Godwin, Gage, Grayson, Johnson/Perriman/Miller. Now someone has to go.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You simply can’t have too many WRs or CBs……..Gage is a solid pickup….surprised me, I thought we’d either go with what we had, draft a WR or bring in a cheap FA…..
    Good long term move and will make the Bucs impossible to cover when all 3 are on the field….

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    I’d say it’s less insurance and more the coaches are not convinced they have a solid, consistent #3 WR on the roster.

  11. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Gage is an ascending player. Clearly getting better with experience and seems to have made a wise move coming to Tampa for Brady and Biscuits. Jason Licht absolutely crushing it so far.

  12. Hodad Says:

    I still think the Bucs should go after Cordelle Patterson, steal another Falcon. He to me would be the perfect fit for the slot until Godwin comes back. Big receiver who can block, and run the ball like Godwin did for us. He’d be an instant upgrade in the return game, and can even line up in the back field. Go get him.

  13. D-Rome Says:

    Gage is an excellent pickup.

  14. Bird Says:

    Cordelle is likely gonna get 10 a year. Cant afford that

  15. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Russell Gage is way more than insurance for Godwin. Bucs frequently rely on 3 receivers. And if Evans, Godwin, and Gage can all manage to stay relatively healthy, the offense will hum! Now that we brought back Perriman, we have legit depth at receiver. Hopefully we can draft another one in the top 3 rounds, and the rookie can overtake Tyler Johnson (big letdown). LFG

  16. Doctor Stroud Says:

    The Bucs don’t have a good track record with ex-Falcons receivers, but with the GOAT, I’m sure that we are in good hands!

  17. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    I really like Gage and a 3rd or 4th option after Evans, Godwin and or Gronk (presuming they re-sign Gronk. which I think is a safe bet.)

  18. unbelievable Says:

    If the o-line can hold up, we could run some impressive 5 receiver sets:

    – Evans
    – Gowin
    – Gage
    – Perriman
    – Grayson / Johnson / Miiller