Buccaneers pick up TE Howard's fifth-year option

Omnisport

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have exercised the fifth-year option on tight end O.J. Howard.

The 19th overall pick of the 2017 draft, Howard has hauled in 34 receptions in each of the past two seasons and has 1,456 receiving yards in the first three years of his career. His career average of 15.5 yards per catch is the most by a tight end with at least 60 receptions since 2017.

His future with the Buccaneers was uncertain, however, after the team acquired four-time All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski from the New England Patriots last week.

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The Bucs, who also have Cameron Brate at tight end, feel they will be able to run plays with multiple tight ends with Tom Brady directing the offense.

''I don't think anyone has a better tight end room in the league,'' coach Bruce Arians said during last week's draft.

''I love playing tight ends ... I think it's just going to upgrade everyone. Competition breeds success.''

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