TAMPA BAY – Names like Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Khalil Mack, and many others dominated the NFL headlines back in March. And for good reason. Those are some of the most popular names in the NFL, as well as some of the NFL’s best players.

But there’s one name that didn’t grab a ton of headlines outside of his new city, and that’s new Buccaneers WR Russell Gage.

Gage is a former Atlanta Falcon who signed with the Buccaneers during the 2022 free agency period. He was primarily the third option in Atlanta’s passing game over the last couple of years, but was forced into the No. 1 role last year after Julio Jones was traded to the Titans and Calvin Ridley stepped away from the game of football for mental health reasons.

As a result, Gage had arguably the best year of his career, recording 66 receptions for 770 yards and four receiving touchdowns. The Buccaneers took notice and decided to sign him to a three-year, $30 million deal, afterward. Gage is expected to come in and play that No. 3 role behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but will likely serve as the team’s No. 2 option while Godwin rehabs his torn ACL.

That won’t be an issue for Gage. Not only does he have experience serving as a top-2 option in the passing game, but he can play both inside and outside, which is exactly what Godwin does. He’s also an effective and willing run blocker – something that’s paramount when playing the slot position in Byron Leftwich’s offense.

The majority of the NFL world may have not taken notice of this signing like it should have, but one of the top analysts in the game did: NFL Network‘s Rich Eisen.

Eisen made up a list of his top-5 under-the-radar signings of the offseason and sure enough, Gage is right there at the top.

“No. 1 on my list is Russell Gage going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Eisen said on the most recent episode of The Rich Eisen Show. “The Bucs went and got Atlanta’s best receiver from last year…. This guy is good. And you know who’s going to really get him involved? You know who’s going to really love him? You know who’s going to know how to get him involved? You know how he’s going to still be involved once Chris Godwin comes back from a knee injury?

“Tom Brady’s gonna figure this thing out, guys. Russell Gage is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and we’re all focused on everything else there…. Russell Gage is a terrific wide receiver…. I’d be all over him in fantasy, folks, if I were you. And I think he’s the top under-the-radar acquisition of the National Football League offseason.”

Eisen’s absolutely correct in his assessment of Gage’s role in the Buccaneers offense. He is a versatile receiver with great hands and above-average athleticism who should really carve out a nice role in 2022 and beyond. He should have a career year in 2022 and it will be really interesting to see how he’s used in this offense.

And with Tom Brady at quarterback, he’s bound to have success. Let’s not forget it was Brady who recruited Gage to come to Tampa Bay, so it’s almost a guarantee that this is going to work out in a big way for all parties involved.

You can watch the full segment, below:

Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports