Super Bowl champion tight end Antony Auclair remains NFL free agent

Photo credit: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Antony Auclair remains a free agent after he wasn’t re-signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

One of the key factors in Auclair reaching free agency was Tampa Bay’s re-signing of future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski. The 32-year-old made 16 starts last season, recording 45 receptions for 623 yards and seven touchdowns. He was sensational in Super Bowl LV, catching two touchdown passes in a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Over a dozen tight ends have signed contracts since NFL free agency started on Wednesday. The two richest contracts were both signed by the New England Patriots, inking Jonnu Smith to a four-year, $50 million deal and Hunter Henry to a three-year, $37.5 million deal.

Auclair dressed for eight games in 2020, making two starts. He was inactive for all four of Tampa Bay’s post-season victories over Washington, New Orleans, Green Bay, and Kansas City, but will still receive a Super Bowl ring.

The native of Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que. drew scouts from 17 NFL teams to his pro day at Laval in 2017. He signed with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent and remained with the team for four years, recording ten receptions for 84 yards in 40 games.

The 28-year-old earned $2,935,000 USD with the Bucs, including $1,250,000 on a one-year contract in 2020. He raved about playing with Tom Brady, calling him the “greatest teammate of all-time.”

Auclair isn’t a game-breaker on offence, but he’s a strong blocker with the ability to contribute heavily on special teams. He should be of interest to any team looking to add a versatile role player who remains relatively young.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.