With Free Agency pending and plenty of room under the cap, the Buccaneers continued to make moves Monday in advance of the barrage of deals by bringing back two key starters.
First they agreed to a one year deal with DB Brent Grimes, who will play a third season in Tampa Bay at 34 years of age. NFL Network’s Mike Silver had it first:
One potential free-agent answer at CB is off the market: Brent Grimes has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Bucs that could pay him up to $10 million, according to @iHeartMiko (who is in Twitter jail). @AroundTheNFL @nflnetwork
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) March 12, 2018
Grimes is a former three time Pro Bowler with the Dolphins, who began his NFL career playing for then Falcons coach-now Bucs defensive coach Mike Smith. That was the connection that helped bring him to Tampa Bay. The veteran has 119 career starts and 33 career INTs.
He was clearly Tampa Bay’s best defender in the secondary the last two years. However, with his original two year deal expiring, there was some concern that he would move on to a contending team and he’s been talking about possibly retiring for the last two years.
The fact that the Buccaneers got him back on a one year deal has to be considered a negotiation win for the team.
Also coming back to the Buccaneers on a more lucrative deal is one of QB Jameis Winston’s favorite targets in TE Cameron Brate. Brate has agreed to a six year deal, and ESPN’s Jenna Laine had the details:
Source tells me that the Bucs and tight end Cameron Brate have agreed to a new deal for six years, $41 million, $18 million in guarantees, per a league source. https://t.co/8bXiFc3chE
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) March 12, 2018
Brate is a tremendous Tampa Bay find, going from undrafted and on and off the practice squad to big time contributor. Brate has averaged 43 catches the last three seasons and many of them on key third downs and for red zone touchdowns. Brate has 17 TDs, 14 of them in the last two seasons from Winston.
Re-signing Brate and pairing him with former first round pick O.J. Howard for a second season will make the Bucs tight ends even more of a threat for 2018. The popular player from Harvard was a restricted free agent and GM Jason Licht and the team obviously wanted to reward his play.
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