Kevin Minter actually got to Tampa before Bruce Arians did, but there's little doubt the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coach has an affinity for the veteran linebacker.
On Saturday, the Buccaneers announced the re-signing of Minter to a one-year contract for the third year in a row. Minter was a special teams captain in 2020 and has established himself as one of the Bucs' most important players in that phase of the game while also periodically stepping up on defense.
Minter first arrived in Tampa as a midseason signing in 2018 and subsequently appeared in five games, contributing 10 tackles and a sack. Bruce Arians was named the Buccaneers' new head coach following that season and Minter signed a one-year deal to stay with the coach that drafted him in Arizona in 2013. When rookie linebacker Devin White missed most of four games early in 2019, Minter stepped into the starting lineup and played well, recording 29 tackles, two tackles for loss, two passes defensed and a quarterback hit.
White stayed healthy for most of the 2020 season but had to miss the regular-season finale and the Wild Card playoff game at Washington while on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Once again, Minter took over and the defense didn't miss a beat. The Buccaneers won both games and Minter contributed 15 tackles and two passes defensed.
Meanwhile, Minter has played extensively on special teams in both seasons, playing almost exactly two-thirds of the team's snaps. He recorded seven kick-coverage stops in that span.
Arians and the 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 107 games with 47 starts and recorded 314 tackles, 6.0 sacks and 25 tackles for loss.