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Report: Patriots asked about Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard

OJ Howard

The New England Patriots aren’t happy with their tight end situation and have called the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about O.J. Howard. Future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski retired after last season and the team knew that finding his replacement would be tough.

Tom Brady has always focused on throwing to his tight ends but this year their leading tight end is Ryan Izzo who has caught 6 passes for 114 yards and a score.

Albert Breer in his Monday Morning quarterback article revealed that the Patriots contacted the Buccaneers about the former first-round pick but were turned down.

“The Patriots’ decision to bring Benjamin Watson back after Matt LaCosse went to IR only further illustrates the team’s problems at Rob Gronkowski’s old spot,” Breer wrote in his latest “Monday Morning Quarterback” column. “Eight days until the trade deadline. New England already asked, and was told no on Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard. I’d expect they’ll be turning over rocks this week at the position.”

The hope coming out of college was that Howard could be the next Gronkowski but he has not lived up to those expectations. So far this season Howard only has 13 catches for 176 yards which in a pass-happy offense is a bit shocking.

A change in scenery might be what is best for Howard with the Patriots being the best fit. As of now, the Buccaneers don’t want to pull a trigger on a trade. There was talk this offseason about the Patriots trading for Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph but that never worked out.

Even if the Patriots can’t get Howard they will probably look for some tight end to acquire to bolster their team.