The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed their first draft pick of the year: first-rounder O.J. Howard signed his contract today, the team announced.
SIGNED!— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) May 22, 2017
Can't wait to see @TheRealOjHoward inside Raymond James Stadium! pic.twitter.com/3h3pYidFnx
The Bucs picked Howard 19th overall in the 2017 NFL draft after the Alabama tight end took an unexpected fall—he was widely expected to be a top ten pick. Instead, the Bucs got to walk away with the best tight end in the draft, someone who’s both a proficient and explosive receiver as well as a quality blocker.
The Bucs also officially signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a move that had been reported last Friday, and waived quarterback Sean Renfree. Fitzpatrick is a veteran with a pretty inconsistent record, but who has nine years as a starter under his belt. While he’s nearing the end of his career, the Bucs definitely upgraded their backup situation.
Usually, rookie signings are just formalities, given the fact that there’s very little to negotiate. Expect the Bucs to finish signing their rookie draft picks in the next two weeks or so.