5 free agent tight ends Colts can target to replace Jack Doyle

Indianapolis Colts, Jack Doyle. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts, Jack Doyle. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard gets past Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Alex Singleton. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Colts can target OJ Howard

OJ Howard was a promising young tight end in his first three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his rookie year, he caught 26 passes for 432 yards and six touchdowns.

In year two, he improved those numbers to 34 receptions for 565 yards and five touchdowns. Year three saw Howard catch another 34 passes for 459 yards and one touchdown.

In his fourth and fifth season combined, Howard only caught 24 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns. What happened between 2019 and 2020 that caused this dramatic drop off?

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski arrived to Tampa Bay and OJ Howard also tore his Achilles early in the 2020 season.

While Brady and Gronkowski helped Howard and the Buccaneers win a Super Bowl, there presence also meant a smaller role for Howard.

He was demoted from his starting role and got significantly less action and targets. Now, Howard will have the opportunity to get a fresh start and get his career back on its promising track.


At 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds, Howard is a big-bodied and athletic receiving tight end that should excite a lot of teams like the Colts. With Indianapolis, he can be the No. 1 tight end and be used similar to how he was early in his career.

Coming to Indy would benefit him and the Colts. It gives Howard a role where he can consistently contribute and it gives Indianapolis a serious receiving threat at tight end to help the passing game.

Between Howard and the many other tight ends on the market, Indianapolis should be prepared to aggressively find a tight end that can jump in next season and help this offense go to the next level.