Even though they selected O.J. Howard in the first round just a few years ago, the Buccaneers aren’t using him to his fullest ability. They have said they aren’t trading him, but that could chance. Here are the top 5 potential landing spots for O.J. Howard.
1. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks have already been making calls around the league to help them at the tight end position. They only have two on their active roster and their budding star, Will Dissly is out for the season with an Achilles injury. Pete Carroll won’t be afraid to go after Howard to help out Russell Wilson.
It will take some draft capital to acquire Howard, but the Seahawks can afford it. They haven’t traded a lot of picks over the last few years. Seattle did trade a third-rounder in this year’s draft for Ja’Deveon Clowney. They have a lot of other picks to use and if they feel like their team can win the Super Bowl, they should make a play for Howard.
2. Cleveland Browns
David Njoku is still on IR with a wrist injury. He can return this season, but there hasn’t been a recent update on his return. Ricky Seals-Jones has filled in decently, but if the Browns want to help their offense reach their full potential, they could make a play for Howard.
If Njoku does come back soon, it would limit the motivation for the Browns to make the trade. The Browns are also reportedly in trade talks to get Trent Williams from the Washington Redskins. If they trade for Williams, they likely won’t have the draft capital to make a trade for Howard. The Redskins seem relatively unwilling to trade Williams, so the Browns could make a play for Howard instead.
3. New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski retired after last season and the Patriots haven’t replaced him yet. They have Benjamin Watson, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo, but none of those players are huge matchup nightmares. To make the offense as good as possible, the Patriots should target a premier tight end like Howard.
New England has enough draft capital to entice the Buccaneers to trade Howard. Bill Belichick is a master of trading and should be able to get Howard at a relatively low price. If Howard is unhappy with his situation in Tampa Bay, where he gets the ball irregularly and the wins come inconsistently, he could be very happy going to New England.
4. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are one of the best teams in the AFC. If they truly want to compete, they should add a tight end to the roster. Tyler Kroft is a below-average tight end. Buffalo has to be impressed with the play of Dawson Knox, but he isn’t quite ready to step up and be a top tight end.
Buffalo should have the assets and the desire to acquire Howard. Giving Josh Allen more weapons is necessary to raise the ceiling of this team. They are on pace to be in the playoffs, but won’t do much damage if they can’t get a solid number one target on the team.
5. Houston Texans
Houston hasn’t had a great tight end in years. On their current roster, they have Darren Fells, Jordan Akins and Logan Paulsen. None of those players is going to greatly help Deshaun Watson. For this team to win a game or two in the playoffs, they should look at adding Howard.
The Texans have traded away a lot of draft picks over the last few years, including their first-round pick this season. They’ll have to give up even more to get Howard, but it may be worth it if they can advance in the playoffs this season.