Both the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in “win now” mode as they enter the 2020 NFL Season. The Buccaneers landed one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game in Tom Brady. Something Brady was lacking in New England throughout most of his career were offensive playmakers. He had a few years with guys like Randy Moss and Brandin Cooks, but most of his receivers would be underachievers in any other offense.
Obviously, Brady had Rob Gronkowski for multiple seasons, and when healthy the two were one of the best combinations in the league. However, Gronkowski found himself not healthy often. You would think O.J. Howard, who has been healthy for the most part, would want to stay in Tampa Bay now that Brady is throwing the ball, but it might be too late. With Howard on the trading block, my assumption is the coaching staff and management are done with him.
When we think of Tom Brady, another positional player stands out though. James White is not one of the best running backs in the NFL, but Brady makes him look like one at times in the receiving game. Over the last few years, White has been Brady’s security blanket quite often. He has averaged 557 receiving yards and nearly five receiving touchdowns per season. The Buccaneers do not have a player like this on their roster, but with this trade they could have one.
When you stack Tarik Cohen and Howard’s stats together, this could essentially be a straight-up trade. Cohen has 14 touchdowns over the last three years and Howard has 12 in the same span. Cohen has 1,534 receiving yards and Howard has 1,456. Rumors are the Bucs want a second-round pick for Howard, but I would think this trade is even more enticing. Especially since Howard is coming off a struggling 2019 season and is nearly a year older than Cohen.
This move would be great for Chicago too. Howard is a former first-round pick who just has not lived up to expectations in Tampa Bay. His first two seasons were not awful though and he would likely thrive more here in an offense that focuses more on the tight end position. Throwing in a seventh-round pick is just icing on the cake to make the Bucs feel like they won the deal.