The Bucs made a big move on Wednesday with the re-signing of Antonio Brown. But it put Tampa Bay over the salary cap. The Bucs got back under the cap by working out a pay cut with tight end Cameron Brate for the second year in a row.
Field Yates has reported that the Bucs have saved $4.69 million by redoing Brate’s deal. He’ll receive $2.425 million as a signing bonus with a base salary of $1.075 million this season. He already received a $250,000 roster bonus earlier this season, so Brate will make $3.75 million in 2021. Brate has another two years remaining on his deal and the Bucs hold the option on them. Tampa Bay also added two more voidable years to the contract.
The Bucs have jumped through many hoops in order to re-sign all of their players back from last year’s Super Bowl winner. It’s come from adding voidable years on contracts such as Lavonte David’s and extending the contract of Tom Brady. On Wednesday it was asking Brate for a pay cut.
This isn’t the first time that the Bucs have asked Brate for a restructure. In March of 2020, Brate’s contract was reworked just days after the announcement that the Bucs signed Tom Brady. A month later the Bucs would add to Brate’s position by trading for tight end Rob Gronkowski. Surely it paid off as the Bucs went on to win Super Bowl LV in their own stadium.
Even though this is the second straight year that the Bucs have asked Brate to take less money, it doesn’t mean he’s any less important to the team. Not only is he one of the longest tenured Bucs on the roster and a favorite of teammates and the fans, he was integral part of the offense in 2020 when O.J. Howard was out for the rest of the season. He saved his best for the postseason with 14 receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown.
Given Howard’s injury history and Gronkowski’s age, Brate could have another important role with the Bucs for the 2021 season.