The Quiet Benching Of Cameron Brate

January 3rd, 2023

Cameron Brate

Nine-year Bucs veteran tight end Cameron Brate was benched Sunday, a healthy scratch.

Rookie tight end Ko Kieft dropped an easy pass in the game against Carolina, and fellow rookie Cade Otton did as well, and he stopped running on a crossing route that drew Tom Brady’s ire. Veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph played 11 snaps and was not targeted.

Head coach Todd Bowles said those three were a better fit for what the Bucs were trying to accomplish Sunday at tight end.

Brate was not targeted on Christmas night and his last catch was against the Bengals. He’s been no red zone threat this season and has looked slow.

Joe wouldn’t rule out Brate making a big catch in the playoffs, but it appears to be the end of an era for the Bucs and Brate. And what a ride it has been. Undrafted out of Harvard, Brate was cut by the Bucs in his rookie season of 2014, claimed off waivers by the Saints, and then the Bucs signed him back later that season.

Brate has told the story of then-Saints defensive guru Rob Ryan grilling him for the secrets of the 2014 Bucs offense. LOL!

Last season, Brate caught 4 touchdown passes but has none among his 20 catches this season. His 33 career Bucs touchdown receptions will keep his name in the Tampa Bay record books for a long, long time. He’s currently ranks third all-time in that team category, one ahead of Chris Godwin.

38 Responses to “The Quiet Benching Of Cameron Brate”

  1. darengibo Says:

    would much rather suit him up than Rudolph who should never have been signed.

  2. Fire the Glazers Says:

    Anybody else in agreement that the Bucs could have left Julio Jones, and Kyle Rudolph to sign elsewhere, and possibly kept Suh, and JPP? Would’ve looked like a bit of a better team this year, don’t you think?

  3. Coburn Says:

    Awesome dude and a hard worker. Smart player. Sadly I think ever since his hip surgery a few years ago he’s looked a bit slower and as the years have added on it hasn’t helped. He wasn’t the most athletic to.begin with

  4. Goatfarmer Says:

    Rudolph is an armless, legless stump.

  5. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Otton has blew his promotion these past few weeks. I advocated him over Brate because he’s more dynamic. Brate runs with cement block shoes. Otton has made too many errors whether it’s dropped passes, running incorrect routes, and penalties. The way Brady responded by Otton running the wrong route seems to not bode well for the rookie maybe seeing more targets, although Brady did go back to him.

    Old school QBs like Manning, Rodgers, and Brady are notoriously known for freezing out receivers when they lose their trust. I think Brady has softened up his stance with the Bucs Remember he said 2019 with Pats that if he didn’t think a guy gave the team a chance of winning he wouldn’t throw to them, so don’t bother putting them in the game. Belichick agreed.

  6. D-Rok Says:

    As bad and as non-productive as Brate and Rudolph have been this season, watch, just watch, one or both of those 2 have a critical impact in the playoffs.

    That’d be something, wouldn’t it? The ultimate game of possum. lying in wait all season, lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce when they least expect it.

    OK, back to reality! LOL.

    GO BUCS!!!

  7. CrackWise Says:


    That and his concussion against the Steelers. I remember thinking he may never be the same after that. Not that he was playing great at the time.

    It was like his second or third concussion though and that one against the Steelers was super soft when it comes to your typical Concussion AND they brought the cart on the field to get him.

    Time For Cam the Great to hangem up. It was nice having him though.

  8. unbelievable Says:

    He was an undrafted gem, who far out played his physical talent.

    Unfortunately he’s just never been the same since that hip injury… and his physical limitations only become more noticeable as he gets older.

    That said, I’ll always have a lot of love for Brate and what he did for us.

    And not that I expected much, but Kyle Rudolph has been a complete waste. I guess maybe he is a slightly better blocker than Brate at this point, but that’s not really saying much.

    We need Otton to bounce back. That was probably his worst game so far. (Same with Winfield)

  9. Marine Buc Says:

    We will probably be cutting Brate next year. I am fine with that but unfortunately that is going to add another $3M to the dead cap space total and create another hole in our roster.

    Unless Brady and LVD come back next season our cap situation is not very good.

    And YES – I know we will restructure some contracts and I’m sure that will happen but we will need to sign 24 players next season and we have 9 draft picks (3 are 7th rounders) and very limited cap space to do it.

    Unless Brady and LVD return.

  10. bob Says:


  11. The Beer Whisperer Says:


  12. HA-HA-HA Says:

    Agree. Always rooted for him.

  13. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    The “couch warriors” making predictions is comical.

  14. D-Rok Says:


    But who’s counting? LOL.

  15. Infomeplease Says:

    Cam has been on a decline for awhile. The team seems to be moving on with some exciting younger players. Otton and Kieft may have dropped passes this year but so has Brate. Otton and Kieft are way better blockers and with the OL problems, makes more sense to play them and give them more game time experience. As far as KR, he’s a better blocker too.

    That said, Cam Brate will be remembered here in Tampa!! He played hard and made many great catches!!! But this is a what have you done for me lately league and the team is looking towards the future.

  16. Rick Says:

    He was a great player for us for a while but having Kyle Rudolf active on gameday makes so much more sense. We need a tight end who can stay in and block to help play action as well as to help the running game.

  17. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I HOPE they get rid of Brate.
    Licht gave him a stupid large contract that made it impossible to trade him.
    Brate has been on the decline for a few years now.

    The dude has some serious teeth on him, I must say. He could easily be the spokesperson for a Dentist related ad campaign.

  18. SB~LV Says:

    Just like the Toby Kieth lyric
    …” but I’m good once … as I always was”
    Brady and the offense needs to get back or at least show that they can get lots of eligible pass catchers catches in the games.

  19. Bojim Says:

    I think he’ll make a play or two.

  20. westernbuc Says:

    I could see him going into the front office

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I can 100% guarantee you that if Brady wanted Brate…he would have played….100%

  22. adam from ny Says:

    buccaneers = possums

  23. CrackWise Says:

    Yall really gonna just ignore the fact that Brate got carted off the field this year for a concussion?

    I mean, I know the game went old school and they actually finished the game and all. But come on now.

    Brate is a super smart dude and his brains got scrambled.

  24. SlyPirate Says:


    Brate has had multiple serious concussions and the coaches moved him to 3rd string for his own safety.

    Chris Godwin had surgery. The cast came off but did he play right away? He still needed to heal. The brain probably works like every other body part. It needs time. Just because you “pass” the NFL’s BS concussion protocol doesn’t mean you’re all the way healed.

    Personally, I don’t want to see Brate ever play again. I still remember seeing Kuechly’s last concussion. That was terrifying. Know when to hang it up.

  25. Thadeus Says:

    Most likely a 9 and 8 season.
    That’s coaching, not Brate.

  26. Craig Says:

    If anyone, on this team, knows what Brady wants, it is Brate. No, he is not as quick as he once was, but he can get open and knows where Brady likes to throw.

    I still don’t like who got added to and subtracted from the Bucs during the 53 man roster cut, but keeping Brate will end up being a bright spot, if they let him play.

    Maybe that illness he had had cut into his stamina and Bowles isn’t completely brain dead.

  27. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Deff a tru pro. Love that guy. Worked his way up from the bottom. Hard not to root for him. To many concussions now I hope he hangs it up but I hope he’s teaching Otton everything he knows

  28. Seattle Buc is back in TB Says:

    Agree Cam has played light years beyond his draft status and abilities and his best is certainly behind him. He’s a really smart dude and will definitely do very well after football. Yes he could coach or scout if he wants.

  29. Buc king Says:

    Call gronk beg him to play in the playoffs…Brady please sound the horn..
    He can use this week to shape up and be ready by 2nd playoff game

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    The guy has been washed up for years. They should have kept Tanner Hudson and cut Brate, I guarantee you Hudson would have been more productive the last two years.

  31. adam from ny Says:

    he won’t be inactive during the playoffs…

    yeah he’s done and they giving him a moment to rest his scrambled eggs…

    but he will have his moments in the playoffs if we make a run…

    so he needs to rest up, to be ready to go all out…

    but yeah as the trendies would say…he’s washed…he’s cooked

  32. FrontFour Says:

    Brate has been a reliable and good player for the Bucs for a long time. He out played the wasted RD1 wasted pick who was OJ Howard and was a nice compliment to Gronk. The concussion and then neck injury this season have changed him. I hope he can contribute down the stretch this season but expect him to retire.

  33. Daniel Says:

    This should’ve happened like a month ago.

    Really good player in the past, but he has nothing left (nor does Kyle Rudolph who plays way too much).

  34. orlbucfan Says:

    Cam Brate was one of Licht’s first signings, an UDFA out of Harvard. That caught my attention, out of Hah-vard? An NFL player? He turned out to be a solid player and class act. He’s also a smart young man. If he’s sitting out cos of the concussion scares and eventually retires cos of that, kudos to him and Licht for signing him. Otton and Ko Kieft are the future anyway. They both are showing plenty of promise. Go Licht and Bucs!

  35. Hodad Says:

    Bucs won’t have to cut Brate. He’s smart enough to retire.

  36. The Anomaly Says:

    Otten has been awful

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    With Brate & Rudolph taking up 2 roster spots (and both being effectively benched), and the other 2 slots going to our 2 rookies Otton & Kieft, I’d say that our TE group is light-years behind what we had the last few seasons … in receiving AND even more importantly in blocking.

    Bucs might want to consider signing TE Antony Auclair. He’s big & primarily a blocker but from what I remember of him he could also catch (when given a chance, which wasn’t often). He’s only 29, spent 4 years with us (2017-2020) then 1 year with Houston (not playing this year it looks like). Hey, IF he’s in decent shape he’d have to at least be better than Rudolph.

  38. Statguy Says:

    This it’s more the neck and concussions