Brate (hip) likely will miss OTAs and June minicamp, but he expects to be cleared for the start of training camp, Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report.
In addition to providing a timeline for his return from January surgery, Brate revealed that he played the entire 2018 season -- all 16 games -- with a torn labrum in his hip. He suffered massive drop-offs for catches (30), receiving yards (289) and efficiency (5.9 yards per target), but he remained useful in the red zone with six scores on 12 chances. Brate's 20 touchdowns over the past three seasons are tied for second among tight ends, with Jameis Winston consistently throwing to his 245-pound target near the goal line. Now entering the second season of a five-year, $40.8 million contract with no guaranteed money beyond 2019, the 27-year-old tight end expects to have a sizable role under new coach Bruce Arians, though O.J. Howard is locked in as Tampa's No. 1 tight end. Even if his rehab comes off without a hitch, Brate will have a tough time matching his target volume from 2016-17 (5.1 per game). His $7 million base salary for 2019 became fully guaranteed March 17, so the Bucs would need to trade him to realize any cap savings.
Brate is on the mend following arthroscopic surgery on a torn labrum in his hip last week, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
In addition to the aforementioned injury, bone fragments were removed from Brate's hip. According to Laine, Brate opted to play through the injury for most of the season, missing no practice time in the process. On a positive note, Brate is expected to be healthy by the conclusion of the offseason program in June. In the recently-concluded campaign, he fell far short of his yardage totals from 2016 (660) and 2017 (591) -- 289 at 5.9 yards per target -- but his six touchdowns still tied for fourth most among tight ends. Both Brate and O.J. Howard (ankle) are locked into contracts through at least 2020, but the more experience gained by the latter, the less the former may be able to fulfill the six-year deal he inked last offseason.
Brate's pair of grabs was par for the course in terms of his per-game production this season, but his 19.5 yards per grab marked a welcome departure from the single-digit YPC figures Brate had generated in five of the prior six games. The Harvard product never quite looked like himself during the 2018 campaign, even after position mate O.J. Howard (ankle) went on injured reserve prior to Week 12. Brate never topped three receptions or Sunday's 39 yards in any contest this season, leading to a career-low 9.6 YPC and his second-lowest yardage figure (289) since his five-game rookie cameo in 2014. The one piece of good news from a fantasy perspective was that he continued to be relied on fairly consistently in the red zone, with Brate logging six touchdowns for the second consecutive campaign. With a new head coach on the horizon and the possibility that offensive coordinator Todd Monken also departs at some point this offseason, it will be intriguing to see how a new regime opts to deploy Brate alongside a healthy Howard in 2019.
Lines like these have unfortunately become the norm for Brate, even in the wake of O.J. Howard's season-ending ankle and foot injuries. The ascension to the clear-cut No. 1 tight end role hasn't had any appreciable impact on the veteran's production, as he hasn't topped three receptions or 36 yards in any of the five games in which he's held that spot. Brate does have three touchdowns over that stretch, but two came in one contest against the Saints in Week 14. An exploitable matchup in the form of the Falcons defense awaits Week 17, but Brate's recent body of work doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
On the heels of a two-touchdown performance in Week 14, Brate's one-catch effort was significantly disappointing, especially in the heart of the fantasy postseason. The four-year veteran's middling production may not be truly representative of what he might be able to offer over the final pair of contests as the primary pass-catching tight end, however, as the combination of wet weather conditions and the Ravens' suffocating defense certainly did the passing game no favors Sunday. Brate will look to bounce back in Week 16 against a Cowboys defense that's tied with the Bengals for the third-most receptions allowed to the tight end position (77).
|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||16||2||30||289||9.6||21||6||2||0||18|
|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||16||1||1.0||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||16||1||1||0||1||0||0||1||0|