INDIANAPOLIS — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are $55 million above the salary cap threshold, are expected to release veteran tight end Cameron Brate, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Thursday.
Brate carries a $5 million salary cap hit, and his release will be one of several roster moves made by the team to become cap compliant by March 13 at 4 p.m. ET.
The Bucs also informed running back Leonard Fournette this week that he’d be released in a move that will save nearly $3.5 million in cap space.
An undrafted free agent out of Harvard in 2014, Brate had a one-year stint with the Bucs, was released from their practice squad in 2015, was briefly picked up by the New Orleans Saints, and then was re-signed days later by Tampa Bay, where he became one of the longest-tenured offensive players on their roster.
Last season was difficult for Brate, however. He suffered a concussion in Week 4, returned in Week 6 and then was taken off the field on a stretcher with a sprained neck in Week 7. In total, he missed six regular-season games last season and caught 20 passes for 174 yards — his lowest production since 2014.
His final NFL catch was the last touchdown pass thrown by Tom Brady, who retired “for good” after the season.
“I’ll look back on my time very fondly with the Bucs,” Brate said after the playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys. “It was awesome. An awesome ride. It’s been great.”
Overall, he has caught 273 passes for 2,857 yards and 33 TDs.