Replacing Russell Gage

August 19th, 2023

Eagles WR Greg Ward.

Joe isn’t trying to be an a-hole here, but the facts are the facts and the NFL is a brutally cold, cutthroat business.

Joe wasn’t exactly curled up in a fetal position and uncontrollably weeping when it was confirmed that Bucs veteran receiver Russell Gage was lost for the year with an ugly knee injury. Hell no, Joe didn’t want to see Gage get hurt! But did any fan expect Gage to be available for the full season?

Gage is a good dude and he was totally frustrated that he couldn’t shake nagging injuries that sprouted up for him not long after his first day on a Bucs practice field in 2022. It stinks not having Gage, but Joe cannot sit with a straight face and act surprised Gage was injured.

This is why Joe doesn’t believe the Bucs will miss Gage all that much.

So in the wake of Gage being lost for the season, what now? Former Giants and Jets beat writer and current columnist for FanBuzz, Matt Lombardo, had a list of potential candidates who could replace Gage.

Eagles receiver Greg Ward caught Joe’s eye.

The 28-year old receiver missed the bulk of the 2022 season with toe/foot issues. But he was elevated from the practice squad for the Eagles’ Super Bowl appearance.

It’s possible, Lombardo types, Ward is caught in a logjam at receiver, and he may be the odd man out when the Eagles, and all teams, must shave rosters to the league-mandated 53.

Ward, at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, is a prototypical slot receiver who has caught 88 passes for 768 yards and 10 touchdowns across the first 40 games of his NFL career. Back in 2021, Ward averaged a career-high 13.6 yards per reception.

There are other names Lombardo tossed out to replace Gage, including Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton, Irvin Charles and Auden Tate.

Joe just doesn’t see Landry being an option. Landry injured his ankle and only played in a handful of games for the slimy Saints last year and his impact was minimal. Frankly, 30-year-old Landry hasn’t done anything since he played with Mayfield in Cleveland. And given what Landry indirectly said about Mayfield this spring, Joe doesn’t think Landry desires a reunion.

Joe would rather roll with rookie Trey Palmer but Joe would understand why the Bucs would want a veteran receiver to replace Gage, if they don’t already consider 28-year-old David Moore (78 catches, 1,163 yards, 13 touchdowns) to be that guy.

22 Responses to “Replacing Russell Gage”

  1. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    I don’t think they bring anybody in, this is the eat the Brady cap hit year.

  2. garro Says:

    I think we stand pat. We got some guys who can play. I want to see what Warner can do. He reminds me of Joe Jurevicius. Not fast but gets open and catches what you throw.

    Odd to me that we let Jurevicius go. He had better numbers elswhere as is usual after a guy leaves Tampa.

    Go Bucs!

  3. DBS Says:

    Our TE’s so far are nothing special. And last year when our receivers went down nobody really stepped up. So do they have a rookie that can do it or is there even someone not injury prone or with gas let in the tank to get the job done they could afford? Another fine mess they are in now.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Let’s just go with the young UDFA payers…..I think Moore will work out….

    Warner (if 7)

  5. K_bassuka Says:

    I think we are replacing Gage with someone in house. I don’t think we have the QB talent to bring someone from the streets and well with Maybefield/Trask right away.

  6. Voice of Truth Says:

    The way Palmer is developing, Gage was likely #4 by mid season anyway

    They need help at OL/DL/S far worse than WR and have so little money to play with, we just can’t afford that luxury

  7. Lt. Dan Says:

    The Bucs already brought in Gage’s replacement. David Moore.

  8. D Cone Says:

    Scotty Miller had 1 catch for 5 yards yesterday w/ Atlanta. He might fit in well with Captain Checkdown. Only drawback is he had one bounce off for an interception in the Red Zone. Bowles does not tolerate Turnovers in Games. They are 7 times worse than a turnover in Camp.

  9. Obvious Says:

    Hey D Cone, how can you tell it upsets Bowles at all? Does he have a very minimal extra silent toot in his pants that requires bionic abilities to hear? The slightest movement of a finger?

    As emotionless as he carries himself “especially” in heated moments is a unique thing. It requires a sociopath of the highest order to literally get even more motion/emotion less as he does in critical situations. A “purist” in the ways of an “analytical”…. He would make a FORMIDABLE poker player!

    I’m not sure how you can tell but I’m impressed that you can find a difference. “Maybe his pants bunch up slightly more?

    You see the problem with an analytical running the show is that they “Have To Think About It”! It’s in their DNA. That is NOT a Joke. And the reason he looks so unnatural at game times is because in the heat of battle, it requires Snap or Instant decision making. And THAT IS NOT the way of the Analytical. They HAVE TO THINK IT OVER….. He will never be comfortable at game time with having to make instant decisions. Especially outside of his box. EVER! But EVERYONE needs to understand that it’s Not His Fault. He simply can’t help it… It’s an advantage in some ways and incredibly tough to deal with as the head coach, in game time. Huge disadvantage for him. He needs some help. It could be the difference in winning and losing. He MUST turn over snap decisions to someone who Excells at snap decisions. That would be Canales. Hopefully he will let go of the reins a bit. At least enough for the good of the team at game time.

    GO BUCS!

  10. sasquatch Says:

    The replacements are already on the roster.

  11. RGA Says:

    The Bucs might want to look for help at offensive tackle, I’ve read that pro bowler, 41 year old Jason Peters wants to play another year. Past his prime but could be an upgrade at right tackle for a season.

  12. Destinjohnny Says:

    This is why I have to hit your draft picks

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    Based off the first preseason game I would say Dave Moore and Palmer will be fine.

    Geiger also looked pretty solid.

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    I’m OK with Moore. He seems solid enough, especially with Palmer developing.

    How does Gage affect the 2024 cap? Time to get the cap right.

  15. teacherman777 Says:

    This is why we signed Dave Moore.

    Dave Moore looked great in the pre-season opener.

    Dave Moore has the same body type and style as Russell Gage.

    Dave Moore has a ton of experience. He’s not scared to get hit. He knows Canales.

    We aren’t signing anybody.

    1. Evans
    2. Godwin
    3. Moore
    4. Thompkins
    5. Palmer


    6 and 7 are still up for grabs.

  16. D Cone Says:

    Obvious Says
    Hey D Cone, how can you tell it upsets Bowles at all.

    Not one word about an emotion like upset. Perhaps you should get your emotions in check and not have them seeing things that are not there.

    As far as no emotions there is a coach that never showed emotion there is Tom Landry. He is in the HOF. A place your boy Baker will never be and if so he’s going in right after Matt Leinart. Another top pick bust in the NFL

  17. Obvious Says:

    @D Cone

    Wow, you must be under attack somewhere. It’s not from me bud. My emotions? Yeah, probably but not so much concerning Bowles. I did get a bit miffed about the Mayfield family situation. Definitely got strong feelings about that. Curious that you took it so hard from me. Not what was intended. It’s in a joking manner as I thought you were joking.

    I did however explain some of what’s going on with Bowles and why he acts the way he does. He can’t help it. It’s in his nature. And he should turn over some of the decision making. It would be for the best since there is isn’t a lot of time in a game to think it over.

    Welp sorry you took as an attack apon you. I didn’t mean to slight you if I did.
    Hopefully you’ll have better day.

  18. D Cone Says:

    D Cone Says
    Wow, you must be under attack somewhere.

    I don’t feel attacked. Just making sure you know the difference between upset and tolerate.

    Do I strike a nerve at times? I sure hope so. Especially if it’s to someone that responds to my Opinion. Had some idiot making claims that Oklahoma beat the crap out of Trask, Pitts and Toney 55-20 when Pitts and Toney never played. Had to be pretty pissed or pretty stupid.

    I never respond in anger but always in kind. Good Luck.

  19. Obvious Says:

    D Cone,

    Well not everybody’s out to get you. At least I’m not. And I know exactly what you’re talking about concerning that back and forth. Maybe if you had made clear that you were referring to “who actually played in the game”, then it would have made more sense. And hey, maybe you eventually did. I never went back to look.

    I remember specifically commenting that OU Certainly DID take out Florida 55 to 20.

    I ALSO stated that I wasn’t sure about who actually played in that game and left room for You “Just in case” that’s what you were referring to. Because, it wasn’t clear what you were getting at and it Sure seemed like you disputed the score.

    Honestly, I tried to leave you some room there because I felt like that what you was getting at was “who played in the game” You didn’t specify and I had to go.
    You simply said that “you should go back and check the record” so out of curiosity I looked up the score. It’s here or there to me because over all, it doesn’t matter.

    HOWEVER… I’ve seen A LOT of twisting the truth to just plain lying concerning Mayfield of late. It’s a desperate look from some of the Mayfield supporters.

    I’m truly not sold on anybody on the roster and DO feel like there is still a better choice. At least that’s how I feel about it in the moment. Tonight will tell me A Lot..

    I WILL SAY that I FIRMLY BELIEVE that Trask gives us far more upside. But, I also get that Mayfield might have gotten screwed over and still may have what it takes. I DON’T FEEL deeply about that. His record SAYS DIFFERENTLY…. But I guess anything is possible.

    I’m ALL ABOUT a franchise QB… Don’t Care where he comes from BUT I DO prefer a ‘home grown one” if possible… And if it takes drafting a new one, SO BE IT! I won’t stop raising he!! until we get one…

  20. Jeffbuc Says:

    David Moore is better than people think. He flourished in this offense with Seattle. Anyone who plays daily fantasy knows about Moore he was a must start budget player for a year. I thought he was older than he was. He is 28 and is a proven slot receiver. Roll with him, Palmer, thompkins and we will be ok at receiver. I would fill comfortable with him filling in for a couple games for Godwin or evans. Would t be happy about it but I would t think we didn’t have a chance. With him as our number 2. If David Moore is our 3rd receiver we are better off than a lot of other clubs at receiver.

  21. Bicemup Says:

    Palmer was already going to win the 3 spot let’s worry about wr4

  22. D Cone Says:

    Obvious Says
    You said a bunch and it didn’t raise my pulse a bit. It’s all good and I take as good as I give.

    I thought that was you were the 55-20 guy and I apologize for calling you an idiot. Just thought that might smoke the one out that made the claim, they would man up, and say they were wrong. I believe I replied to the claim ‘you might want to fact check yourself and stop spreading untruths. If you made a reply and made an admission after that I would not know. That horse or post was pretty much dead and never went back.

    I fact check myself before I post and I will twist things as much as I can.
    Evans made a matter of fact statement in an interview ‘ yeah I’d like to have a QB1 soon’ Press turned it into a big deal. Even this Site.

    Joe posts many things that are tailor made for controversy and strong opinions on both sides.

    Whether I think you are FOS or you think I am FOS I look forward to your replies. No hard feelings.

    Go Bucs. That we can agree on. Yes