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Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston calls O.J. Howard ‘the NFL’s best tight end’

OJ Howard, Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers experienced some serious turnover this offseason. Regardless, quarterback Jameis Winston is confident that he will be able to retire heavily on tight end O.J. Howard moving forward.

The retirement of former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has left many to wonder which player will take his spot as the best player at the position. According to Greg Auman of The Athletic, Winston feels Howard is it:

“How many people know Rob Gronkowski has retired?” Winston asks the group. “So without further ado, the NFL’s best tight end, O.J. Howard. He’s the best in the game.”

There is no question that many would argue against Winston’s pick, however, his comments are clearly an indication of his confidence in Howard’s ability. It is safe to assume that Winston has high expectations for his teammate in the 2019 NFL season.

The Bucs made quite the investment when they took Howard with the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Although the former Alabama product has shown flashes of promise, he has struggled to establish a major role for himself in the Bucs’ talented offense largely due to injuries. He finished the 2018 campaign with 34 receptions for 565 yards and five touchdowns in ten games.

Fortunately, Howard will have an opportunity to enjoy a breakout season in 2019. He should see a significant increase in targets with the departure of wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries this offseason. If he hopes to make good on Winston’s praise, he will first need to ensure that he is capable of staying healthy for a full season.