Many were surprised when the Bucs signed wide receiver Russell Gage to a 3-year contract last week. The Bucs already had to premier wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, yet still tabbed Gage at $10 million per year. Of course, Tampa Bay knows how important that No. 3 wide receiver role is in their offense. Still, some believed Gage would land back in Atlanta as their top receiver.

Since then, it’s become clear why Tampa Bay signed the receiver away from their division rival. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady loves Gage’s game, even calling the receiver on the opening evening of free agency to recruit him. However, the opinions of wide receivers Evans and Godwin also carry significant weight. Speaking to the media on Monday, Godwin revealed that he and Evans have been admirers of Gage’s game for years.

“As soon as we signed him, I told Mariah (Godwin’s wife), ‘That’s a great signing. That’s a great pick-up,'” Godwin said. “I feel like the last couple of years, anytime we play them, me and Mike will be on the sidelines talking, ‘Yo, I feel like Russell Gage is nice. I feel like he’s not getting the love that he should.’ He runs good routes, he’s a tough player. You know he’s going to give you effort. So I’m thrilled to have him aboard. I think he’s going to be a huge addition for us. I think people kind of sleep on him. But I think he’ll fit right in with the group.”

Gage has been a 700-yard receiver each of the past two years, playing his biggest role last season. He’s known for sharp routes and sure hands, but hasn’t had many opportunities to show his 4.4 speed in Atlanta’s quick passing attack. He’ll immediately slot in as the No. 3 receiver in a Tampa Bay offense that desperately needs one.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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fredster
fredster
3 months ago

He’s killed the Bucs for years glad he’s on our team now. Difficult to find a 3rd WR as good as Crazy ass Brown but this guy has potential to really put up big numbers.

Dude
Dude
3 months ago

It will be interesting to see how the Bucs use him. If anybody can bring out the best in Gage, it will be Brady. I’m excited to see what kind of speed he has, and if he’ll be a down field option, or if the Bucs will use him with a lot of WR screens and slants. He’s got good hands, and that says a lot. He definitely fits with this WR group. Towards the end of his rookie year he was on a tear. But, last year, the Falcons did not use any of their WR’s to the best… Read more »

Spitfire
Spitfire
Reply to  Dude
3 months ago

Ryan doesn’t care anymore, he’s moved on to the Colts. Falcons are gonna be non existent next season. They can’t even afford a replacement because after trading Ryan for what like a 2nd round m, 3rd round pick? The Falcons have to carry $40mil in dead cap for him. I have a feeling that Atlanta is planning to tank this year in hopes of nabbing a top QB in the Draft next year and completely starting over.

Dude
Dude
Reply to  Spitfire
3 months ago

I did not know Ryan got traded! Somehow I missed that. Thanks for clueing me in!

Knightrider79
Knightrider79
Reply to  Spitfire
3 months ago

3rd round pick and like 20 million is dead cap space. It’s gonna be rough for them. I wonder if we could trade them for Pitts

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Spitfire
3 months ago

I read that Marcus Mariota has just signed a two year deal with the Falcs, presumably to be their starter. It seems like forever ago that the big and contentious debate amongst Bucs fans was Winston vs. Mariota. Neither one has proved out as the number 1 and 2 picks in the 2015 draft. Winston had much better numbers but lost his starter’s job, while Mariota has been injured a lot and never played a full season. Given that we’ll be playing him at least twice this season, we’ll find out if he’s got anything left in the tank or… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Naplesfan
Eddie
Eddie
3 months ago

No where that I can find showed that Gage has 4.4 speed. Would this PR writer show his source or sources on that?

Joseph
Joseph
Reply to  Eddie
3 months ago
Last edited 3 months ago by Joseph
Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  Joseph
3 months ago

Thanks for pointing it out, Wiki and Playerprofile.com had him at 4.5 to 4.55 sec. So I am confused.

Joseph
Joseph
Reply to  Eddie
3 months ago

The 4.5 times were what he ran at the combine and the 4.4 times were what he ran on his pro day at LSU.

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  Joseph
3 months ago

He seemed like another player in the mode of AB, good hands, good route. I just trying to point out that the PR writer keep wondering why Atlanta did not show case his 4.4 speed. My point is maybe he does not have it or have lost it. Maybe running it once in Pro day is different than game day speed, day in and day out, especially after 4 years. Cooper Kup certainly was not ‘speedy’ but we all have seen what he could do, vertical and otherwise Same thing with Dardon from last year, PR writer keep saying he… Read more »

Spitfire
Spitfire
Reply to  Eddie
3 months ago

A simple google search of “Russel Gage 40 time” is all you need to do man Haha.

Horse
Horse
3 months ago

No question he is a good pick up, and allows Godwin time if he’s not quite ready to go yet when the season starts.

plopes808
plopes808
3 months ago

So…everyone is signing 3 year contracts. Maybe this is wishful thinking, but does this mean TB12 isn’t planning another retirement in the next few years???