The team signed the 26-year-old tight end to a six-year, $41 million deal, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. His new contract contains with it $18 million in guaranteed money.
The #Bucs have re-signed tight end Cameron Brate to a six-year, $41 million deal that includes $18M in guarantees, source said.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 12, 2018
Over the past two seasons, Brate certainly emerged as Jameis Winston‘s favorite tight end target. In both campaigns, he led all players at the position on the team in receiving yards. Last year, him and rookie O.J. Howard both finished with a team-leading six touchdown receptions apiece. A year earlier, Brate’s eight grabs for a score was second behind Mike Evans.
Advanced stats site Pro Football Focus thought very highly of Brate’s performance in both seasons. He received the sixth highest overall player grade and seventh highest receiving grade among NFL tight ends in 2017. A year earlier, he received the highest overall grade of his career up to this point.
Brate initially signed with the Bucs as an undrafted free agent out of Harvard ahead of the 2014 season. But he didn’t survive preseason cuts and eventually found his way onto their practice squad. The team did activate him late in the year and he made one catch for 17 yards on November 30 of that year against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Early in 2015, Brate was part of a wild string of events from a roster standpoint. The Bucs released him once again on September 15, after which he joined the New Orleans Saints practice squad. But he subsequently re-signed with Tampa Bay a week later and enjoyed a fairly productive campaign. He appeared in 14 games, made 14 starts and registered three touchdown catches.
In his brief time with the Bucs, Brate already has a somewhat prominent place in their record books. His 17 career touchdown receptions ranks him 12th in franchise history and third among those who’ve played tight end for the team. It’s also the same number of times Keyshawn Johnson found the end zone during his time with the team from 2000 to 2003.
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