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Buccaneers expected to sign ex-Falcons WR Russell Gage

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers found their No. 3 wide receiver for Tom Brady.

The Bucs are expected to sign former Atlanta Falcons receiver Russell Gage, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

Gage joins a receiver corps in Tampa highlighted by franchise-tagged Chris Godwin and star Mike Evans. The Bucs' offense struggled to consistently move the ball when Antonio Brown was out last season. Gage solves that problem and then some.

Owning the ability to line up across the formation, Gage brings versatility and consistency to the No. 3 receiver spot in Tampa. Conversely, it's not a great sign for youngsters Tyler Johnson and Jaelon Darden's prospects of seeing more snaps in 2022.

The 26-year-old Gage has worked his way into becoming an underrated playmaker. He carried the Falcons' receiving corps last season, leading the team in catches (66), receiving yards (770) and receiving TDs (4) in 2021. Gage has recorded 750-plus receiving yards and four receiving TDs in back-to-back seasons

Gage particularly shined down the stretch in 2021, generating 500 receiving yards in six games over Weeks 13-18 (seventh in the NFL).

After Tampa watched Gage go off for career highs in catches (11) and yards (130) versus their defense in Week 13, they decided to scoop him up in free agency.

Adding Gage not only strengthens the Bucs' receiver corps, but it also weakens the Falcons' wideout room. With Calvin Ridley suspended for the 2022 season and Gage signing in Tampa, the top of the receiver depth chart in Atlanta is currently set to be filled in by restricted free agent Olamide Zaccheaus (who was tendered at the right-of-first-refusal figure) and Christian Blake. Clearly, it's a position Atlanta will need to address in the coming weeks.

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