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Tight ends who could be cut or traded this offseason

The NFL Draft added 255 picks and a host of undrafted free agents to rosters. We break down what it might mean for veteran tight ends on the roster bubble.

O. J. Howard of the Bucs celebrates scoring his first career touchdown with fellow tight end Cameron Brate during the NFL Regular game between the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 01, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft concluded this past weekend, and the league has welcomed 255 draft picks and countless undrafted free agents. The rookie additions will result in significant changes to some depth charts, and that will result in teams releasing veterans to let them look for new accommodations in the NFL, or attempting to trade them. We’ve compiled some players that might be in need of a new team due to draft picks likely crowding them out of playing time and possibly a roster spot. Below we’ll take a look at tight ends. Inspiration comes in part from Bill Barnwell’s look at one player on each team most likely to be cut or traded.

Matt LaCosse, Patriots

The Patriots drafted two tight ends in the third round, likely pushing LaCosse off the roster. He couldn’t get anything done last season despite getting playing time on a team devoid of strong receiving targets and Bill Belichick will look to replace him.

Cameron Brate, Buccaneers

Rob Gronkowski’s arrival in Tompa Bay has crowded the Buccaneers tight end room and despite O.J. Howard continually being talked about as a trade candidate, it’s Brate who costs more and doesn’t have the upside of Howard. Getting rid of his contract would help them add some defensive depth for their win-now attitude with old man Brady at the helm.

Adam Shaheen, Bears

The Bears love themselves tight ends but at some point they have to say goodbye to some of them and Shaheen looks like the odd man out after they signed Jimmy Graham and Demetrius Harris this offseason, and then drafted Cole Kmet in the second round. The Bears did use a second-round pick on Shaheen in 2017 as well, but injuries and eagerness to move on had them give Trey Burton a big payday in free agency the following season. They released Burton, but should release Shaheen as well, as they don’t have room for him anymore. He does have upside still, but he’ll need to work his way up with a new team.

Jeff Heuerman & Jake Butt, Broncos

The Broncos drafted Noah Fant 20th overall last season, then added Nick Vannett in free agency and drafted Albert Okwuegbunam in the fourth round this season. Okwuegbunam has a strong connection with QB Drew Lock after playing with him for two seasons in Missouri, so his status is likely good while Butt and Heuerman look like they should be on their way out.