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Franchise Player! Antoine Winfield Jr., Bucs Agree to Four-Year Deal

Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has agreed to a four-year contract to maintain his spot as the top play-maker in Tampa Bay's defense after earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2023


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed the franchise tag on All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield Jr. on March 5 in an effort to ensure their play-making defender would remain with the team for the long run. On Monday, Winfield and the Buccaneers agreed to a four-year contract that accomplishes that goal and runs through the 2027 season.

Winfield earned first-team Associated Press honors for the first time in his career in 2023 after putting together an unprecedented stat line that cemented his place as one of the biggest playmakers in the NFL.

In addition to his 122 tackles, Winfield added 6.0 sacks, three interceptions, 12 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, six tackles for loss and eight quarterback hits in 2023. He was the highest graded safety in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, with a mark of 91.2. Since data became available starting in 1999, Winfield is the first defensive back to record at least five sacks and five forced fumbles in the same season.

The long-term deal for Winfield continues an impressive offseason in which the Buccaneers have rewarded their best players and kept together a roster that has won the last three NFC South championships. In addition to Winfield's deal, the Buccaneers have also re-signed wide receiver Mike Evans, linebacker Lavonte David, quarterback Baker Mayfield and kicker Chase McLaughlin, among others.

In his first four seasons, Winfield has amassed 384 tackles, 15.0 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 21 QB hits, seven interceptions, 27 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. He has the most sacks by a defensive back in the NFL since 2020 and his total is already a franchise record for safeties.

Winfield was voted into his first Pro Bowl after a 2021 season in which he racked up two interceptions, 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and six passes defensed. Despite wildly outpacing those stats in 2023 he was not named to the NFC's Pro Bowl roster, but he received a much more exclusive honor from the Associated Press, which names only two first-team All-Pros from the entire league at the safety position.

This marks the second time in the last three years that the placement of the franchise tag has led to a long-term deal for one of the team's best players. The same chain of events happened with star wide receiver Chris Godwin in 2022.

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