Pictures of the Buccaneers' tight ends.
The Buccaneers are not deep at the tight end position but they do have two players who have well-defined roles in the offense. The first is Cameron Brate, who like Humphries is a former undrafted player who surpassed 50 catches a season ago. Brate is also an exclusive rights free agent who received a qualifying offer, so he'll be back to build upon an effort that saw him tie for the NFL lead among tight ends with eight touchdowns.
Brate has proved to be a real NFL weapon due to his fine route-running, his body control on contested passes and his sure hands. He has also improved as a blocker – an art he didn't practice much at Harvard – but will still be looking to get better in that area in order to be more of an every-down player. He clearly has a connection with Winston, so it's a near certainty he'll remain heavily involved in the offense even if the Buccaneers draft a player at his position.
The other entrenched tight end is Luke Stocker, who fittingly is good in the trenches. He's the team's best blocker at the position and was used all over the formation in lieu of a traditional fullback on the roster. A fourth-round draft pick way back in 2011, Stocker is still in the middle of a new contract he signed in 2015 and should remain a part of the team's plans.
Tight end Brandon Myers played out the full three-year contract he got as an unrestricted free agent in 2014 but become a UFA again on March 9 and to this point has not re-signed with the team. That leaves the Buccaneers with just four tight ends on their expanded offseason roster, with former undrafted players Kivon Cartwright and Tevin Westbrook joining Brate and Stocker. Westbrook has spent the better part of the last two years on the Bucs' practice squad, so the team has obviously seen some talent worth developing.
Simply due to the numbers, the Buccaneers are almost certain to add to the tight end position this spring, possibly through a draft that is deep in intriguing options.
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