Advertisement

Buccaneers place franchise tag on All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield Jr.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Tuesday that they have placed the franchise tag on All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield Jr.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the two sides continue to work on a long-term contract with the intent on getting one done. As a safety, Winfield would be due $17.123 million next season under the franchise tag in the event the two sides don't work out a new deal.

Winfield, 25, is coming off his best NFL season as he emerged as one of the league's best defensive playmakers. He tallied three interceptions, 12 passes defended, six sacks, eight quarterback hits, 122 tackles, six tackles for loss, four fumble recoveries and a league-high six forced fumbles forced while starting all 17 regular season games in 2023. With Winfield leading the way, the Bucs tied for second in the league with 13 takeaways on fumbles.

[Join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league for the 2024 MLB season]

The Bucs selected Winfield in the second round of the 2020 Draft. The franchise tag salary for next season would nearly double the $8.7 million he made over four seasons on his rookie contract.

The Bucs and Antoine Winfield Jr. would both reportedly like to work out a long-term contract. (Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
The Bucs and Antoine Winfield Jr. would both reportedly like to work out a long-term contract. (Rich Barnes/Getty Images) (Rich Barnes via Getty Images)

Bucs looking to build on recent success

The Bucs made the playoffs for a fourth straight season as 9-8 NFC South champions then throttled the defending conference champion Philadelphia Eagles in a 32-9 blowout in the wild-card round. Retaining Winfield was one of their top offseason priorities as they look to continue to build on their success.

Tampa Bay now has a decision to make as it negotiates with quarterback Baker Mayfield, who outplayed his one-year, $4 million prove-it contract last season. Mayfield won the job in training camp then threw 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in the regular season to lead the Bucs to the playoffs and earn a Pro Bowl berth as a replacement. He'll command considerably more than last season's $4 million annual salary on a multi-year deal.