Could O.J. Howard be on His Way out of Tampa Bay?

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to dominate the off-season headlines. Signing Tom Brady will do that. When a team signs a player of Brady’s stature, national attention is soon to follow. When the Buccaneers sign a player the caliber of Brady, an adjustment period is required. Required to understand that with signing a big time free agent, comes big time rumors.

A Grain of Salt is Needed.

Michael Lombardi of The Athletic made a statement on the GM Shuffle recently and it was a whopper. According to Lombardi, he was told by league sources that the Buccaneers are actively trying to trade tight end O.J. Howard. He added it could be within the next week.

“I think Howard’s got a great name, but I think there’s an instinctive issue going on, I think he’s going to be available.”

Howard has drawn the ire of Tampa Bay faithful since being selected 19th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. The highly touted tight end out of Alabama was seen as a steal by the Buccaneers at the 19th position. Fast forward to present day and Howard hasn’t lived up to the hype. Head coach Bruce Arians was asked about Howard late last season, his response:

“It’s hard to say (what’s wrong),he’s a talented, talented guy, but it’s not showing up on Sundays.”

Not exactly a glowing response by Arians, but he isn’t wrong. Factoring in Howard’s draft position and the expectations placed on him, it makes sense that the Buccaneers could be looking into moving on. The issue with this is Howard, like the majority of the roster, has had questionable coaching and a serious lack of development in any form. That falls at the feet of the organization and the organization alone.

The Narrative

The narrative pushed on social media is that Howard can’t block and that he as soft as Charmin. You could definitely make a case for him being soft after seeing multiple videos of him doing the ole`on defenders he’s responsible to block. You can also see several instances of Howard having “alligator arms” when he is targeted in tight coverage. But is that enough to give up on his potential? I’d say no, but like most of you, I never thought Tom Brady would be a Buccaneer.

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