The Facts: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Monday that six players had signed the one-year qualifying offers extended to them prior to the start of free agency. QB Ryan Griffin was a restricted free agent, which meant he could negotiate contract offers with other teams with Tampa Bay retaining a right-of-first-refusal on any signed deals. Brate, Cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, linebacker Adarius Glanton, wide receiver Adam Humphries and wide receiver Freddie Martino were exclusive rights free agents who could only negotiate with the Buccaneers.
Diehards Line:Brate is a former undrafted free agent who has emerged as one of the NFL's more productive tight ends. In 2016, he tied San Diego's Hunter Henry for the NFL lead among tight ends with eight touchdown receptions while finishing second on the team with 57 receptions for 660 yards. Since Week 11 of the 2015 campaign, Brate has caught 74 passes for 864 yards and 10 touchdowns over the course of 22 games. Those totals rank 13th, 13th and tied for second, respectively, among all NFL tight ends in that span. Humphries has gone from undrafted free agent in 2015 to the team's primary slot receiver.