Brate was not targeted in Sunday's 27-21 win over the Eagles.
It's been an utterly forgettable start to the season for the talented tight end, who was expected to split more pass-catching work with O.J. Howard this season, but certainly not to the tune of a two-game blanking to open the campaign. It's too early to be overly concerned -- particularly given Brate's impressive career body of work -- but the fact Brate played just 14 snaps to Howard's 46 on Sunday certainly bears mentioning. Brate will look to get on the stat sheet for the first time this season when the Bucs face off with the Steelers in a Week 3 Monday night showdown.
Brate didn't draw any targets in Friday's preseason game against the Lions.
After catching seven of eight targets for 76 yards through two preseason games, Brate was held off the stat sheet while logging just 13 snaps Friday night. Meanwhile, O.J. Howard got the start and caught both of his targets for 22 yards while playing 27 snaps on offense. The workload split between the two tight ends will need to be monitored into the regular season, starting with a Week 1 road game against the Saints.
Brate paced Tampa in receptions on the night, and he came just five yards shy of leading the team in receiving yards as well. It was an excellent start to the preseason for the fourth-year tight end, whom the Bucs locked up with a six-year, $41 million contract this offseason. Brate will once again split time with 2017 first-round pick O.J. Howard in the coming season, but the level of rapport he enjoys with both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston should still afford him plenty of targets in what could be a high-powered offense.
Brate is slated to catch passes from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first three games of the 2018 regular season in the wake of Jameis Winston's expected suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
The development many not exactly bode well for the tight end's fantasy prospects if his body of work with Fitzpatrick under center last season is any indication. Brate did have one of his best days of 2017 during the veteran quarterback's first taste of extended action in Week 6, hauling in six of eight targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. However, he caught only one pass in each of Fitzpatrick's three starts in Weeks 10-12, while fellow tight end O.J. Howard posted six receptions (on eight targets) for 104 yards and a score in those contests. Consequently, it remains to be seen if Fitzpatrick once again favors the 2017 first-round pick among his tight-end options when he takes the rein of the offense for the 2018 season's first three games.
Set to be a restricted free agent Wednesday, Brate avoided a tender and instead was granted a long-term commitment from the organization that took a chance on him as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He's been a nice safety net for Jameis Winston the past two seasons, accruing 14 touchdowns and averaging 7.9 yards per target among his 105 receptions (on 158 targets). Brate's contract follows Mike Evans' huge extension last week, but the tight end may continue to yield snaps to 2017 first-round pick O.J. Howard (ankle) over the course of this new deal.
|4||9/30/18||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 5|
|6||10/14/18||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|9||11/4/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|11||11/18/18||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|15||12/16/18||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ DAL||1:00 pm|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||1||1||17||17.0||17||0||0||0||1|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||4||23||288||12.5||46||3||5||1||14|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||10||57||660||11.6||38||8||5||0||40|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||5||48||591||12.3||35||6||5||0||33|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||3||2.0||1||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||1||0||0||0||0||-1||0||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|