Last Chance For Russell Gage

June 23rd, 2023

Production needed.

If there was one player who Joe considered a major disappointment it was wide receiver Russell Gage. He needs to have a solid if not strong year for a bunch of reasons, millions in fact.

Joe remembers former Bucs wide receiver Bert Emanuel. Came with a lot of hype. Left with a whimper. Emmanuel missed so many games and battled so many injuries, he’s best remembered for a catch/non-catch in the 1999 NFC title game.

Folks can barely remember any play he made but sure do remember his nickname. “Hurt Emanuel.”

So far, Gage has been Hurt’s second coming.

Last year in training camp Gage went nuts. Even Bucs coach Todd Bowles remarked how the defense couldn’t stop him. Alas, the secret to stopping Gage soon became public. Just wait long enough and he won’t be on the field.

Gage was hurt in OTAs last year, hurt in training camp and hurt on and off throughout the regular season. This year is like Groundhog Day. He got hurt in OTAs and was seen only on the sidelines in underwear football.

In a review of the Bucs, the crowd at Sharp Football Analysis was very down on Gage.

Russell Gage never gained any traction in Tampa Bay last season while dealing with a plethora of injuries.

At the end of the season, Gage ended up catching 51-of-70 targets for 426 yards. His 8.4 yards per catch during the regular season ranked 136th among 142 qualifying wide receivers.

Gage already restructured his contract this offseason, and Tampa Bay can easily get out after 2023 at $2.2 million in dead cap space if necessary.

And you can bet that will if Gage puts up similar numbers to last year and is constantly battling injuries.

Joe understands, players not named “Myron Lewis” never want to be hurt. But if a guy can’t get out of the tub, what’s the point? You are not an asset off the field.

36 Responses to “Last Chance For Russell Gage”

  1. garro Says:

    Gage is doing what many players before him have done. I’m hurt but pay me. Hurt in OTAs? Come on man!
    Next up Palmer! Find ways to use him Canales!
    Go Bucs

  2. garro Says:

    Bet here is he’s hurt in camp week one.

    Go Bucs!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    So….is being injured the fault of the player or simply bad luck?

    I’m in the camp that Gage played well when he played…..his short pass yardage was more of a product of the routes he ran and Brady dumping it off….he was also a good red-zone target.

    I’m rooting for you, Russell.

  4. darengibo Says:

    Gage killed Tampa Bay while in Atlanta and he continues to kill Tampa Bay. Ugh. make it or break it year for sure.

  5. Oddball Says:

    Yup, what garro said.

  6. 97 bucBaby Says:

    He’s a bum now that he plays for us but when he didn’t he bust our butts…….. why you ask cause we have CD and JD

  7. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Never trust Falcons WRs…they are the product of a system.

  8. Rosadog Says:

    The best ability…is availability!

  9. Armybucfan Says:

    I hope our rookies can step it up and light a fire under gage’s crippled behind. We are going to need all the weapons we can get with mayfield or trash under center.

  10. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Another wasted FA signing.

  11. teacherman777 Says:

    We invested in

    Rudolph. Julio Jones. And Gage.

    But not the offensive line?

    Last year was Lichts folly.

    We didn’t need Rudolph. We needed Jordan Whitehead.

    We didn’t need Julio Jones. We need Suh.

    We didn’t need Gage. We needed JPP.

    We didn’t need Trask. We needed an OG/C to back up Jensen, Marpet, and Cappa.

    We didn’t need Darden. We needed a 3rd CB.

    We didn’t need Hainsey. Who played RT in college.

    We needed a pure OG.

    We didn’t need Goedeke. We needed the plug and play LG from LSU. Engram. Who went on to start every game for the Vikings.

  12. BuxfaninTX Says:

    Let’s not forget to add Alvin Harper to the list of disappointing signees

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Preach on Teacherman. JL made a lot of bad decisions in 2022 free agency period (Rudolph & Julio for sure, and probably Gage & Hicks among others). Even Mason; he wasn’t a problem, but he wasn’t a solution either. Bucs ended up with very little depth, and that ate us alive when the injury bug hit.

    Gage’s injuries weren’t his fault obviously, but his injuries during the season MAY have had something to do with how he was used. His Average Depth of Target (ADOT) was only 5.5 yards, by far the shortest of his career. Since none of our receivers seemed to get very good separation, I’d suspect that he took quite a few hard hits from the ILBs & OLBs catching the ball that close to the LOS. At 184 lbs, that’s a big mismatch. Hopefully this year’s schemes get him more freed up in space.

  14. teacherman777 Says:

    @defense rules

    Your comments are always spot on as well.


    Mason didn’t push anybody off the ball.

    He was serviceable. But not a mauler.

  15. Sly Pirate Says:

    BuxfaninTX … you beat me to it.

    How do you write/read this article without Alvin Harper? Still one of the most disappointing signings of all time.

  16. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    and laughing all the way to the bank. He needs to man up this year or go. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

  17. geno711 Says:


    I always hear about the talent on this team from the Joes. Look at all the lost talent from 2021 to 2022. Right on.

  18. Brandon Says:

    Only two of our top six WRs averaged over 10 yards a catch. Evans and Jones. This had far less to do with the abilities of the WRs as it did with the smoke screen crazy checkdown king that was throwing the ball, Tom Brady. BTW, for those that forget, Brady was the one that threw the poorly thrown ball to Godwin that tore his ACL. Wonder boy is worthy of blame where it is due.

  19. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Rudolph was a terrible signing, and Jason Licht grossly overpaid for him as well.
    Hopefully Gage can stay healthy because since we lost Antonio Brown we have lacked a get open all the time receiver.
    Goedeke was a reach, and was drafted way too high.

  20. Dooley Says:

    Good chance Rakim Jarrett or Dave Moore can be what we wanted Russell Gage to be and should both/either remain healthy while Gage is unavailable grows that chance. We’ll see how Gages’ fate shakes out in the next few months or so

  21. sasquatch Says:

    Let’s just hope he gets healthy and stays healthy. I can’t fault a guy if he has bad luck with injuries, unless he fails to train to avoid them or follow his rehab protocol with dedication. If he’s healthy, he could be a difference maker. I’m looking for that guy.

  22. geno711 Says:

    If Gage is healthy and can improve our 3rd down conversion ratio and better yet our Red Zone TD percentage then I will give him a pass for last year.

  23. Buc4evr Says:

    Gage won’t make through training camp. Need a viable replacement now.

  24. firethecannons Says:

    We need to have an immediate replacement now. he is on sideline now and it is a long season, no he is not to be relied on for even preseason.

  25. stpetebucfan Says:

    Tony Dungy described it well…”The greatest ability is AVAILability!!!

  26. geno711 Says:


    Bill Parcels I think way before Dungy.

  27. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Once the injury bug takes hold some players are never healthy again.

  28. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  29. Voice of Truth Says:

    Gage was a huge waste of money – that 10 mil should have gone to the OL period

    He is still a waste of money, he scares no one and will likely start and finish the season on IR

  30. BucU Says:

    Joe knows how I feel about one Russell Gage. I’ve had most of my posts about this bum deleted by mngmnt. Haha. He’s a bitter dissapointment man. If he’s still injured by training camp then dude is a lost cause.

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    I pointed this out before, but it’s been some really bad luck for Gage. He was literally brought in, in part, as insurance because the Bucs had so many injuries at WR. Also signing Gage, because he was considered a safe risk injury wise, meant the Bucs could do something more risky like sign Julio, who everyone knew was a big injury risk.

    Anyways, I hope for the Bucs sake, that Gage is fully healthy. He is one of the best #3 WR’s in the NFL if healthy, and behind Gage the Bucs don’t have much, so they really need him to contribute.

  32. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Not reliable.

  33. Toad Bowels Says:

    (1) Could Russell Gage fill in for Mike Evans or Chris Godwin if they went down with injuries?
    (2) Will Canales use a lot of 3 WR sets or more 2 TE sets or a TE and Ko Kieft at FB?
    (3) Can Gage do anything on Special Teams or as a return man?

    Joes, could you and/or IRA opine on the above?


  34. Obvious Says:

    I maybe wrong but I don’t recall him having an injury problem prior to showing up here. I say give him a little more faith. His time to shine isn’t up. He had “tough luck” last year and still put up quite a few catches. It might not be his fault that Brady was throwing short. Sounds like he catching most that come his way. AND I’m pretty sure that MOST of the defensives we played had our number last year. We all know why…

    You might as well call a couple other wr’s a bum then because MOST didn’t put in a full season! Look, the guy still showed up when nobody else was around. At least he caught the balls thrown his way.

    I don’t think he’s getting a fair shake. I think he got hurt and played anyways…..

  35. FrontFour Says:

    Question for Joe, what’s our cap hit if Gage doesn’t make it out of training camp we just cut the guy.

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Toad Bowels – Gage was a #1 WR in Atlanta, albeit a bad one. But he can fill in as a low-end #2 WR. Last season, vs GB, he was the #1 WR and playing vs a good defense with an elite top corner and he had a great game despite being injured. People who want to cut him or say he stinks are just your typical low-IQ dullards who don’t know football and they’re emotional like a woman. The guy was injured, but if healthy, he should be a big part of the offense.