The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut Cameron Brate not once, not twice, but three times since joining them as an undrafted free agent from Harvard in 2014.

That was why it was so overwhelming for the veteran tight end to receive a reported six-year, $41-million contract from the Bucs Monday. The deal includes $18 million in guaranteed money, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.

‘I’m really excited, really happy for the opportunity that they’ve given me’

“I’ve been cut by the Bucs three times in my career already, so it’s just kind of crazy taking a step back to see where I’ve come from and just everything that’s going on now,” Brate told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “I never really envisioned it. But it’s awesome. I’m really excited, really happy for the opportunity that they’ve given me. I couldn’t say how much excitement I have now.”

Brate isn’t only excited about the impact to his bank account. He’s also thrilled about what’s ahead for the Buccaneers as they look to rebound from last year’s 5-11 finish.

‘There were some things that came up last year we weren’t necessarily prepared for’

Brate is confident the Bucs can play up to the full potential of their talent. He is a large part of that, with 128 catches for 1,539 yards and 17 touchdowns in the past three seasons.

“Last year, obviously, was a disappointment, but that was last year,” Brate said. “We feel like we have a lot of really good players on our team. There were some things that came up last year we weren’t necessarily prepared for, injuries at some key spots. We had a chance to win a lot of games last year at the end. We know the NFL, it’s going to come down to the last two minutes. So last year we just weren’t able to come up with the plays at the end.

‘This year we’ve just got to find a way with the guys that we’ve got to make those plays at the end’

“But I think a lot of guys on the team and the coaches believe in each other and believe in the guys that are here in the locker room. This year we’ve just got to find a way with the guys that we’ve got to make those plays at the end and win some games.”

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