The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have picked up the fifth-year option of tight end O.J. Howard for the 2021 season. Howard, the team’s first-round pick in 2017, is playing in the final year of his rookie deal and set to earn a base salary of$1,977,903and will have a salary cap hit of $3,530,182 due to the proration of his $6,208,984 signing bonus, according to OverTheCap.com.
There was speculation that Howard could be traded on or before the 2020 NFL Draft due to the team trading with New England for Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski, but that never materialized and Tampa Bay is expected to keep Howard on the roster this season – and in 2021 due to the fifth-year option.
Howard’s fifth-year option salary will be $6.2 million, which is still a relative bargain for a starting tight end in the NFL. Chargers tight end Hunter Henry is the highest-paid tight end in the league, averaging $10.6 million per year, followed by Browns tight end Austin Hooper, who averages $10.5 million per year.
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