Thursday, May 19, 2022

Russell Gage signing with Buccaneers: Former Falcons receiver lands with rival, per report

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Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have two star receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but they were in the market to replace Antonio Brown. They may have done that this week, as former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage is expected to sign with Tampa Bay, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport

Gage is a weapon who can line up in different spots at receiver, as he played 202 snaps in the slot and 203 snaps out wide in 2021, according to PFF. The 26-year-old is coming off of his two best seasons, as he caught 72 passes for 786 yards and four touchdowns with the Falcons in 2020, and 66 passes for 770 yards and four touchdowns in 2021 while boasting a career-high 70.2% catch rate. 

Gage’s best performance in 2021 actually came against the Buccaneers in Week 13, as caught 11 of 12 targets for 130 yards. He also torched the New Orleans Saints for 126 yards and a touchdown in the regular-season finale. 

The Buccaneers have a few young, intriguing receivers in Scott Miller, Tyler Johnson and Jaelon Darden, but Gage is a player who has delivered when called upon when Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley were absent from the starting lineup. The Falcons get a legitimate No. 3 receiver who can hold down a starting spot until Godwin returns from his ACL tear, while simultaneously further decimating a rival’s receiving corps. 

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