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Bucs bring back two of their own ahead of free agency

TAMPA, FL: Photo Courtesy: Anthony Pugliese / NFL Lead

TE Cameron Brate and CB Brent Grimes will both return in 2018 after signing contracts with the Bucs on Monday.

Ahead of the official day of NFL free agency, which begins on Wednesday at 4 PM, Tampa Bay made sure to keep two key pieces in house. Brate, 26 and a graduate of Harvard, is locked in for another six years to the tune of $41M with $18M in guaranteed money. His 14 touchdown catches in the last two years are second among tight ends only to Jimmy Graham, also a free agent. Brate was undrafted four years ago.

Despite Tampa drafting O.J. Howard in the first round last year, Brate led all tight ends on the team with 48 catches for 591 yards.

Grimes, 34, returns for his third season in Tampa with a one-year contract worth $10M. In 2017 he battled a shoulder injury a year after leading the NFL in pass breakups. He still managed to start 13 games and has seven interceptions in two seasons with the Bucs.

Bucs have been busy

While they haven’t made any splash trades like other teams this off-season, Tampa has been busy. Friday, they locked up wide receiver, Mike Evans, to a five-year, $82.5M deal and brought back veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for a second year.

Back on February 20th, the Bucs cut RB Doug Martin.

Per ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Tampa is also interested in bringing back cornerback Robert McClain.

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