Brate has benefitted from having a QB who knows how to find the open man. There’s a reason Evans and Gronk got one catch and Brate got four: Brate was open. But he caught the ball and hung onto it, which is more than the TE on the other team can say. There’s a lot to be said for being dependable. Its harder than it sounds.
We didn’t draft Juice top ten. But I get it, a first rounder on a tight end, you expect elite returns. I think we have seen the potential there, and this year he was primed for that break out, but unfortunately he can’t seem to stay away from injury. That is the more concerning thing, as I feel like the butter fingers of the season before was largely gone. I’m really pulling for him in a contract year essentially to put it all together under the guidance of Brady and Gronk. I don’t remember an injury history coming out of Alabama.
I struggle to see us be able to pay Brate so much, and hope Gronk will take a pay cut next year to be able to continue to chase titles with his boy and live in Florida.
Brate is the more reliable receiver. Howard offers more in the blocking department, and is a big play threat. I’m not convinced we don’t keep both along with Gronk. I don’t see Brate wanting to leave this team. He might give us a discount to stay. He watched Hump leave, and hasn’t been heard of since..