TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the signing of wide receiver Russell Gage official Friday morning, according to a team announcement.
It was reported Gage would sign with Tampa on Tuesday by NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport.
Gage comes to the Bucs after four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, who picked him in the sixth round out of LSU in the 2018 NFL Draft. He played 61 games for Atlanta, starting 21.
Gage was very productive in his last two seasons in Atlanta. He was the Falcons’ second leading receiver in 2020 and 2021, totaling 138 catches, 1556 yards and eight touchdowns in 30 games.
He came on particularly strong in the second half of last season, amassing 50 catches, 611 yards and three touchdowns in eight games. His yards and catches were the eighth most in the league over that span.
“For me, that was big,” Gage said. “I came into every week prepared, I worked hard to be in those roles. But, it was definitely a big deal for me to step up and show that I’m able to step into a role like that and take that under my wing. Matt [Ryan] did a great job of making sure I was settled down and I was able to take over that role without missing a beat. It was definitely a big deal for me.”
With Antonio Brown no longer on the team after his emphatic mid-game departure and with Chris Godwin coming off a torn ACL, it’s a welcome signing for the Bucs receiving group. They also lost tight end O.J. Howard to the Buffalo Bills earlier this week.
It’s also another move in a busy offseason for the Bucs. They reportedly agreed to a three-year, $60 million extension with Godwin on Wednesday. They also re-signed center Ryan Jensen, cornerback Carlton Davis, and receiver Breshad Perriman. They brought in guard Shaq Mason via a trade with the New England Patriots. There’s also the return of Tom Brady for a 23rd season.
They also restructured the contracts of receiver Mike Evans, linebacker Shaquil Barrett and tight end Cameron Brate.
Meanwhile, they are still waiting on a decision from tight end Rob Gronkowski on whether or not he will return for a third season in Tampa.