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Patriots reportedly asked about Buccaneers' O.J. Howard

The New England Patriots inquired about tight end O.J. Howard but were told he's not available, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

What It Means:

The Patriots still haven't found a suitable replacement for Rob Gronkowski and Howard has become an afterthought in Tampa Bay upon Bruce Arians' arrival, so it makes sense to ask. However, it was reported last week that the Bucs won't trade the 2017 first-round pick, and that appears to still be the case.

Howard has 13 catches for 176 scoreless yards (13.5 per catch) on 18 targets in six games this season. He led all tight ends with 16.6 YPC in 2018.