Tom Brady Will Need “About A Week” To Make A Tight End Decision

July 3rd, 2022

Power broker.

Joe hears more and more intelligent folks characterizing the Bucs offense as a house of cards without the services of retired(?) tight end Rob Gronkowski.

On Friday, it was Pat Kirwan’s turn. The former Bucs scout, Jets executive and linebackers coach breaks down all things NFL like no other on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Kirwan is in the process of grading NFL tight end units through many on-air hours, and the Bucs tight ends have received his lowest score to date.

Cameron Brate is capable player worthy of a roster spot, per Kirwan, but he’s absolutely not a No. 1 tight end. The loss of Gronk, Kirwan says, will stress Tom Brady consistently.

“Without [Gronk] running that little Y-choice route, it’s really going to be a lot of pressure on the slot receiver for Brady to have what he wants. He always likes something right in front of him,” Kirwan said.

As for rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft, Kirwan says the Bucs may be looking to the free agent market a few days into August. “[Brady will] work with those two rookies for about a week and then decide if he thinks they’re ready to help.”

If the rookies aren’t showing in a hurry and Gronk tells Brady he’s off the table for at least half a season, then Kirwan thinks the Bucs will lean toward signing veteran tight end Jared Cook versus fellow veteran free agents Kyle Rudolph and Eric Ebron.

29 Responses to “Tom Brady Will Need “About A Week” To Make A Tight End Decision”

  1. Buc92’ Says:

    Why Jared cook ? Who’ informed pat of this


  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Gone to 2-a-day Gronk-a-day to make up for Saturday…..

  3. BradyBucs Says:

    This is becoming ABSURD.

    Yes, Gronk was a heckuva TE. But for these pundits to imply that Brady will struggle without Gronk is an exaggeration.

    Many of the top NFL QBs have excelled without a Top-5 TE. It’s a nice luxury to have but isn’t required for success. Brady will make any TE better. Period.

    The Bucs will have plenty of weapons for Brady to throw to.

    Again, this “Without Gronk the Bucs are doomed” narrative is overblown.

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    Probably a decent analysis. Though I agree a bit with BradyB – the loss of Gronk, while important, is a bit overblown.

  5. Statguy Says:

    Gronk has been out half the season most the time already anyways

  6. Ash Says:

    Of course it is overblown slow news will do that can’t wait for the season to start so we can get past these tired articles that happen every other day.

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    Out of those names, Jared Cook is the best choice, I guess. He used to be a good blocker, but now, apparently, he stinks at it. If that’s the case, then you’d have two Brate’s, which isn’t a good option, but it’s better than the other two listed.

    At the same time, I fully suspect Gronk will be back at some point.

    As for the rookies, a rookie TE is probably the hardest position in football to go from college to the pros, and almost never does a rookie TE do much (short of someone like Kyle Pitts last year). It’s hard to believe either of the rookies we got will do much in year one – but if they can at least block, that should be good enough.

  8. Pa Privateer Says:

    If they want a TE go with Jesse James. He was excellent at everything at Pittsburgh.

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    Pa Privateer – If he was excellent at everything, then he’d have a job. Looking at his stats, there isn’t much of anything there. Now, if he’s a blocking specialist, then his stats are a bit more explainable, but they don’t show someone who can catch the ball. Personally I think the Bucs mostly need a blocker, so I wouldn’t have any issues with the signing, but he’s not excellent at everything or he’d be locked up to a big deal.

  10. Rod Munch Says:

    Last year when Gronk was hurt, who stepped into his blocking role? That would be OJ. For all the idiocy of people saying OJ couldn’t block, and pointing to a busted play to ‘prove’ their point, he was actually a decent blocker. But getting a blocking specialist would likely be an upgrade for that role. That blocking specialist role is obviously why they drafted the kid in the 6th round, but again, it’s really dangerous to count on a rookie TE to do much, although if he’s just blocking, that’s a big more reasonable than if they wanted a do-everything TE. But also the kid is a 6th rounder, and 98% of them never do anything in the NFL.

    A guy who I would have picked up is Antony Auclair, he couldn’t catch, but he could block. However, apparently, he’s the Texans and they picked up his contract. But he’s someone that knows the offense, already showed he can do that role, and if the Texans drop him, I’d certainly bring him back in for a look.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I’m not sure how or when we let Tanner Hudson get away. He looked a future star in the preseason for a couple of years. he definitely looked like he was worth protecting on the roster

  12. sasquatch Says:

    If OJ was the blocker when Gronk was out, and they survived, Kieft could serve that role too. It’s not like Howard produced as a receiver last year. Anybody who thinks it’s a house of cards without Gronk is smoking crack. Seriously. They have weapons and they’ll adapt. The naysaying and catastrophizing is truly insane.

  13. Joe Says:

    I’m not sure how or when we let Tanner Hudson get away. He looked a future star in the preseason for a couple of years. he definitely looked like he was worth protecting on the roster

    1. *Preseason.*

    2. Inconsistent catching the ball (and Joe is being polite).

    3. Couldn’t block.

    If you are a tight end and can’t block and are shaky catching the ball, that’s two major strikes. Besides, look at who the Bucs had. Gronk, Hall of Famer; Cam Brate, proven pro and O.J. Howard, major investment and a guy who at least sometimes demonstrated he was capable of making big plays.

    Hudson didn’t play/practice anywhere near the level to unseat Gronk, Brate or Howard.

  14. b4l Says:

    so why they let oj walk then dumb asf

  15. Hoops Says:

    I think Brate’s taken a bad rap about his blocking. There’s a lot of idiots on this website who hear that and roll with that belief. I believe he’s a proven veteran that is two touchdowns away from passing Jimmy Giles and came up big in the playoffs, and isn’t shown the respect he deserves. Brady trusts in Cam. That is worth a lot in my book.

  16. Eddie Marz Says:

    They won’t miss Gronk as much as people think. Yes it’s great to have him, but we can work with what we have. Adjustments will be made to compensate for Gronk’s leaving. Better now than losing him in mid season. GOBUCS!

  17. steele Says:

    Brady cannot stand not having his safety blanket/surefire targets, Edelman, etc. and Gronk was obviously one of them, like an extension of himself. Anyone who has followed him throughout his career knows that he HATES not having his guys, regardless of how he finds ways to make do with less. How can that be denied? It’s simple and urgent now. “Tom, what do you want to do?”. Let him drive the decision. Brate has issues and always will. Otton and Kieft are newbies.

    It’s too late in free agency. Jared Cook can’t or won’t block. Same with Ebron. Rudolph, more complete than both, but older. Jesse James, tough, does a bit of everything, but is not a game breaker. Can they pull off a trade for a balanced #1 TE from somewhere? Some disgruntled like Dalton Shultz?

  18. Duane Says:

    Gronk was likely to be healthy for half a season because of the way he plays. Brady needs Gronk for a playoff run, not a starting stretch. Brate is clever enough to hold his own in the passing game, and there are receivers of every shape and size for the GOAT to manage. Keep an extra lineman active to block if you need it that badly. You also have Lenny, Sneak, and the Rookie to be extra targets over the middle. If he thought his chance of success this season REALLY hinged on the return of just one player, he likely would not have come back.

  19. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Brady like Aaron Rodgers are old school guys who are big on trust with their receivers. Most of the young kids don’t care. Rodgers and Brady aren’t the type to tolerate constant mistakes from their receivers. They have their sacred trust circles. With Gronk gone, Brady’s circle has shrunk to Lenny, Godwin, Evans, and Gio. People keep trying to prop up the new kid White, but Gio has proven himself to be a reliable and productive 3rd down back when healthy. Brady trusts Gio in pass pro, and White’s weakness is pass pro. Let’s pump the breaks on White. Gio was also one of the few guys who had some success against the Saints and Rams in the regular season. Leftwich not playing him against the Rams in the playoffs was criminal. We were down receivers and we could’ve used Gio in the slot. My only hope is that Brady doesn’t become paralyzed by his lack of trust in some of the less experienced receiver. If he’s not on the same page with them, the results could be disastrous. Remember during his first season, he had an increase in turnovers because of the constant miscommunication between him and his receivers.

    Brady’s job would be a lot easier if we added some diversity to our offense. It would be great if Leftwich could scheme people open instead of relying on the receiver to beat his man. That philosophy is flawed and got exposed in the playoffs when the talent at WR went down. If Brady is throwing the ball 40-50x a game this year like he did last year, that means we’re in trouble. Bowles said he wanted to make his job easier, and that starts with not putting the entire success on the offense on his 45 yr old QB arm. I like Gage. I see him as a Deion Branch type of guy. A great route runner who can gain separation quickly. Brady is feeling nervous about the state of the receiver position which is why he called out Gage during his press conference.

  20. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Brady is taking in all of these slights from various media outlets. No one thrives more from slights or even perceived slights than Thomas Brady. I say keep the negativity from the media coming because Brady is taking note. The Manning and Brady debate probably drew his ire the most. That whole debate was brought up again solely to create content, by the way. And now some are throwing dirt on his grave because Gronk retired. I love the negativity. Bring out Psycho Tom!

  21. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Brady needs to take his conk out again.

  22. Aceofaerospace Says:


  23. adam from ny Says:

    this could finally be the season we regret not having oj howard catching foul balls and manning his soft serve ice cream truck

  24. firethecannons Says:

    jared cook sucks–fumble machine No!

  25. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Bucs had the opportunity to sign a TE with good experience in Ricky Seals Jones in the FA market for 1 mill and did not-Why????????????????

  26. Listnfrmafar Says:

    A little different scenario when you have AB, G odwin and Evan’s to pick up the pieces when Gronk is out, or any combination of the two. I agree 100%, when Gronk was injured Brady always had the underneath guy, Welker, Edleman, Amendola, Verden & White. Bucs do not have that underneath guy. Brady has done more with less but this Bucs D may not be the best supporting cast he needs.

  27. Mikejp Says:

    TE is probably the most difficult position among receivers. That is why drafting is too difficult to get a good one.

  28. Kno one Says:

    If I were recruiting for the bucs,Id go after Foster Moreau first…he stepped up in Darren Wallers absence ,with Waller healthy and that contract they gave Adams,the raider’s might be persuaded to do so

  29. BucandCannon Says:

    I dont think brining in one of the aging vets is the love. Otton looks like a stud and I am excited to see how he is used in this offense