The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the midst of preparing for the 2018 season and with preparations come a ton of offseason predictions as well. The NFL.com’s Adam Rank recently released his top five reasons why the Bucs are poised to make the playoffs in his latest feature, and Rank seems to think that Cameron Brate and Mike Evans are among the top reasons why they’ll be able to notch a playoff berth.
Evans signed a five-year, $82.5 million extension on March 9; three days later, Brate inked a six-year, $41 million pact. The duo received 44.5 percent of the Bucs’ red-zone targets in 2017 and combined for 11 touchdowns. So keeping both of these guys in-house was a huge step. The Evans decision was a no-brainer. Like you get offered a free upgrade to sweet potato fries, you make that move. But it was refreshing to see the Bucs throw that money at Brate. Many might have assumed the team would probably start to focus on O.J. Howard, who was gifted to them in last year’s draft. And Howard has a lot of potential. But you see more and more teams putting value into having a pair of quality tight ends. That’s a smart move.
It’s pretty evident that Evans and Brate are among the team’s most valuable weapons no doubt. They are not only Jameis Winston’s go-to targets but are also his most consistent and reliable weapons. Though O.J. Howard has done a great job in his new role as a tight end and DeSean Jackson’s chemistry with Winston is supposedly growing and flourishing, the duo of Evans and Brate notched nearly half of all the Bucs red zone targets which explains why the Buccaneers re-signed both players to hefty contracts. Despite a lot of questions surrounding the receiving corps and how they unfortunately failed to live up to their top-10 potential last year, Brate and Evans continue to be the team’s bright spots and have proven that they have what it takes to anchor this offense to a long-awaited trip to the post season.
Source: Bucs Wire | Bonnie Mott | June 19, 2018