Atlanta Falcons WR Russell Gage intends to sign with Tampa Bay Buccaneers, source says

Russell Gage will remain in the NFC South next season but will be catching passes from Tom Brady instead of Matt Ryan.

The free-agent receiver intends to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

With no Antonio Brown, the Bucs had a drop-off at the No. 3 receiver spot last season behind Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, which became very apparent after Brown’s dismissal from the team and Godwin’s season-ending knee injury. Tyler Johnson did not flash and had some struggles at times when taking on a bigger workload.

Gage had back-to-back 700-plus yard seasons for the Atlanta Falcons in 2020 and 2021 as his role increased following injuries to Julio Jones in 2020 and personal issues that kept Calvin Ridley out of 12 games last season.

After suffering an ankle injury in Week 2, Gage, 26, missed three games and, even when he returned, wasn’t fully healthy until the second half of the season. He emerged over the final two months, catching 11 passes for 130 yards against the Buccaneers on Dec. 5. He also had nine receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown in the season finale against the New Orleans Saints.

Gage set career-bests in yards per reception (11.7), catch percentage (70.2) and yards per target (8.2) last season.

The 6-foot, 184-pounder made 193 catches on 287 targets for 2,065 yards and nine touchdowns in his seasons with the Falcons after being drafted in the sixth round in 2018.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine and Michael Rothstein contributed to this report.

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