Bucs Keep Kevin Minter in the Fold

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Kevin Minter found a new NFL home in Tampa, and he's not ready to move.

On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they have agreed to terms with Minter, an eighth-year veteran inside linebacker, on a new one-year deal. It's the second year in a row that Minter has re-upped with the Buccaneers at or near the start of free agency. He had become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday but didn't take long to return to the Bucs and the head coach who drafted him in the second round in 2013.

Minter (6-0, 246) actually arrived in Tampa before Bruce Arians, who was his head coach in Arizona from 2013-16. The Buccaneers signed Minter in October of 2018, Dirk Koetter's final season as head coach, and he subsequently appeared in five games, recording 10 tackles and a sack. Arians arrived the following January and Minter re-signed with the Bucs on March 13.

Minter proved to be a valuable asset for Arians, Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles and Special Teams Coordinator Keith Armstrong in his first full season in Tampa. When first-round draft pick Devin White suffered a knee injury in Week Two at Carolina, Minter stepped in next to Lavonte David and played well in the rookie's place. In what was essentially four full games, he recorded 29 tackles, two tackles for loss, two passes defensed and a quarterback hit.

Before, during and after his stint in the starting lineup, Minter also played extensively on special teams. Minter led the Buccaneers in 2019 with 331 special teams snaps, appearing in exactly two-thirds of all the team's kick-and-coverage plays. He finished third on the team with five special teams tackles and also recovered a fumbled punt.

As noted above, Arians and the Arizona Cardinals drafted Minter out of LSU in the second round in 2013, making him the 45th pick overall. He played four seasons in Arizona and made 37 starts, including all 32 games in 2015 and 2016. His top statistical season came in 2016 when he contributed 81 tackles, 3.5 sacks, nine tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits and two passes defensed. Minter then played the 2017 season in Cleveland, making seven starts, before coming to Tampa. In all, he has appeared in 91 games with 46 starts and recorded 299 tackles, 6.0 sacks and 25 tackles for loss.

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