Every NFL team is in search of the next Antonio Gates, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A former college basketball star, Gates took his game to the NFL in 2003 to play tight end for the San Diego Chargers. The undrafted free agent has since made quite a splash, catching 194 passes for 2,454 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Several NFL teams, including the Bucs, took their search for the next Gates to Alexandrian, Virginia on Wednesday to attend George Mason center Jai Lewis’ private workout, according to the New York Times.
The 6-foot-7, 290-pound center helped George Mason get to the Final Four this year. While that was an impressive feat by the 11th-seeded Patriots, that Final Four run delayed the start of Lewis’ workout regimen with his personal trainer.
Lewis isn’t training for the NBA, though. Although he hasn’t played football since high school, Lewis believes his future is in the NFL, and he’s apparently not alone, evidenced by the fact that Tampa Bay, the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Stteelers, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles attended Lewis’ workout Thursday.
Tampa Bay is in the market for a tight end. It has just four tight ends — Alex Smith, Anthony Becht, Dave Moore and Mark Anelli — on its offseason roster, and both Moore and Anelli are viewed more as long snappers.
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