The Bucs recently rewarded Cameron Brate with a 6 year, $41 million contract ($18M guaranteed) and brought back a big piece of their offense. But what are the Bucs getting in terms of production from Brate and does it match his new contract? When compared to the other top TE’s in the league over the last two years, Brate’s numbers stack up nicely. Let’s dive into the numbers.
- Brate: 105 catches - 14TD - 1,251 yds - 11.95 avg - 73 1st downs
- Kelce: 168 catches - 12 TD - 2,163 yds - 12.85 avg - 110 1st downs
- Graham - 122 catches - 16 TD - 1,443 yds - 11.65 avg - 75 1st downs
- Rudolph - 140 catches - 15 TD - 1,372 yds - 9.7 avg - 82 1st downs
- Walker - 139 catches - 10 TD - 1,607 yds - 11.6 avg - 78 1st downs
- Gronk - 94 catches - 11 TD - 1,624 yds - 18.6 avg - 76 1st downs (8 games 2016)
- Ertz - 152 catches - 12 TD - 1,641 yds - 10.8 avg - 88 1st downs
Kelce and Gronk’s numbers (career) are on another planet, but they are HOF talents and play as their teams primary weapon. Brate lags behind other top TE’s in catches and yardage (a product of playing alongside a top 10 WR in Mike Evans) but his TD, catch avg and first down production all match or lead on every statistical list. Football Outsiders had Brate ranked 4th in DYAR (DYAR means a tight end with more total value) and 8th in DVOA (DVOA means a tight end with more value per play) for 2016 & 2017. So, he’s been extremely valuable to the offense when he’s been on the field.
The last thing I want to highlight is the actual contract and how it stacks up against the contracts other top TE’s. Brate’s contract has an average salary of $6.8 million yearly. We’ll use Spotrac and take that number (since his cap hit hasn’t been released yet) to compare cap hits for 2018.
- Gronk - $10.9M
- Ertz - $10.5M
- Reed (always injured) - $10.1M
- Kelce - $9.9M
- Olsen - $9.7M
- Clay - $9M
- Ebron - $8.2M
- Rudolph - $7.6M
- Gresham - 7.6M
- Walker - $7M
Brate would be ranked 13th in cap hits for TE’s in 2018, yet his production is rivaling the top guys at his position who command a higher cap hit. In my opinion, Brate’s contract is extremely fair to both him and the Bucs. Bringing him back allows O.J. to continue developing in the passing game, while still solidifying the OL with his run blocking, and providing Dirk/Jameis with a valuable weapon to help Tampa Bay win games.
One last thing on the contract, the Bears just gave Trey Burton a four-year deal worth $8-million a year. Yeah, the Bucs got the better end of the Brate contract.