The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are actively shopping tight end O.J. Howard and there is a chance he could be traded by next week, per Mike Lombardi on his podcast. Trade speculation has been going on regarding Howard for quite a while now, as his usage hasn’t been up to his ability and coach Bruce Arians has never used tight ends as primary receivers.
One rumor that has swirled is that recently retired Rob Gronkowski may want back in the NFL to play with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. There is no basis for the rumor — as it appeared to start with PFT Commenter’s dog @LeroyInsider on Twitter — but to keep the coals burning, Gronkowski jokingly didn’t deny the rumor in a recent interview. And now with Lombardi reporting the Howard trade possibility, those rumors are going to keep circulating.
The Patriots are an obvious team in need with Gronkowski retired and even without Gronk returning, the Patriots should be on the Buccaneers radar for a trade. Howard is still on his rookie deal and has a lot of ability, making him a player many teams will be interested in acquiring.
With Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, you would expect more work for the tight end underneath due to Brady’s skill set, but Arians doesn’t seem to have bought in to Howard and he may never. A trade would likely end up as a boost to Howard’s fantasy football prospects.