Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) during pregame warm ups against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs S Antoine Winfield gets record 4-year, $84.1M extension

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making Antoine Winfield the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history.

The All-Pro safety agreed to a four-year, $84.1 million deal that includes $45 million fully guaranteed, his agents confirmed to NFL Network on Monday.

It marks the first time in NFL history that a safety is the league’s highest-paid defensive back, per NFL Network.

At $21.025 million per season, Winfield’s deal tops the $21 million average annual value for Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander. The league’s second-highest-paid safety is Derwin James of the Los Angeles Chargers with an AAV of $19.133 million, per Spotrac.

Winfield, 25, made the All-Pro first team in 2023 with a league-high six forced fumbles, and career highs in sacks (six), tackles (122) and interceptions (three) in 17 starts.

He has seven interceptions, 11 forced fumbles, 15 sacks and 384 tackles in 59 games (all starts) since Tampa Bay drafted him in the second round in 2020.

Winfield is represented by David Mulugheta of Athletes First.

–Field Level Media

Dec 3, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (9) rushes against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bucs decline option on LB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are declining the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, according to multiple reports.

As the 32nd and final pick of the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft, he would have been guaranteed $13.2 million for the 2025 season if the Bucs had picked up his option.

Tryon-Shoyinka, who turned 25 on Tuesday, set career highs with five sacks and 45 tackles in 17 games (12 starts) last season.

He has recorded 13 sacks, 31 quarterback hits and 114 tackles while playing all 51 regular-season games (34 starts) since his arrival in Tampa.

Tryon-Shoyinka faces new competition for playing time in 2024. The Buccaneers signed veteran Randy Gregory and spent a second-round pick last week on Alabama’s Chris Braswell.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) carries the ball during warm ups before a 2024 NFC wild card game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers officially re-sign veteran LB Lavonte David

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially re-signed veteran linebacker Lavonte David on Friday.

David, 34, will suit up for his 13th season in 2024 with the franchise that drafted him in the second round in 2012.

Terms were not disclosed, but previous reports said the longtime team captain agreed to a $9 million deal.

“Lavonte continues to stand the test of time and play at an exceptionally high level year after year, so it was never a question that we wanted to bring him back as the heart and soul of our defense,” said Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht. “The example he sets and the leadership he brings have been vital to our success as a team. It is extremely rare to have a player producing at such a high level for going on 13 years now, but Lavonte plays with a passion and a love of the game that shows no signs of slowing down.”

David started 15 games and registered 4.5 sacks and 134 tackles in 2023. It was his 10th season with triple-digit tackles.

An All-Pro selection in 2013 and a Pro Bowler in 2015, David has 33.5 sacks, 12 interceptions, 28 forced fumbles and 18 fumble recoveries in 181 games (all starts).

–Field Level Media

Feb 1, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) participates in the NFL Pro Bowl Skills Competition at the UCF NIcholson Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield signs 3-year deal to stay ‘home’ in Tampa

Baker Mayfield weighed multiple options and soon realized Tampa was “home,” leading to his decision to pass on free agency and sign a three-year deal to return to the Buccaneers.

“God had a plan for me, saw it through, and the group we had made it so special last year — a big reason I wanted to come back here,” Mayfield said Wednesday after putting his autograph on a contract worth up to $115 million.

Mayfield, who turns 29 in April, had options to leave but wouldn’t confirm reports the Las Vegas Raiders and New England Patriots put offers in front of the former No. 1 draft pick.

“This is life-changing money,” he said when asked if he left money on the table. “I’m not going to act like otherwise.”

Mayfield signed a one-year, $4 million contract a year ago and was told by general manager Jason Licht that he’d need to win the job in a competition with returning quarterback Kyle Trask. He was named the starter over Trask in the preseason and led the Buccaneers to the NFC South division title, a playoff win over the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, and into the fourth quarter of the NFC divisional playoffs at Detroit with a chance to beat the Lions in an eventual 31-23 loss.

Licht credited Mayfield’s leadership, competitiveness and toughness as the reason the offense didn’t sink despite injuries and significant changes on the offensive line.

“He’s a 10 on the prick scale,” Licht said, prompting Mayfield’s ear-to-ear smile.

“I’ll take that. Thank you,” Mayfield said.

After a vagabond existence, going from the Cleveland Browns to Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams within a nine-month span before Licht opened the door to him being Tom Brady’s replacement last March, Mayfield said family was a major factor in re-signing. He shared with Licht and assembled media he was planning to make Tampa his permanent home regardless of the outcome of free agency. He and his wife, Emily, are expecting their first child, a daughter, next month.

“It’s a weight lifted off of our shoulders from the traveling journey that we’ve been on the last couple of years. For us knowing how much we truly loved being here,” Mayfield said. “So it’s a weight lifted off our shoulders — just knowing that we can settle in and truly make a difference whether it’s with the organization and throughout the community, that we can truly be rooted and have a boots-on-the-ground mentality and make a difference and see that through. It’s a special feeling.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Browns, QB Jameis Winston agree to 1-year deal

The Cleveland Browns are signing veteran quarterback Jameis Winston to a one-year, $8.7 million contract, The Athletic reported Tuesday.

Winston was the No. 1 pick of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has spent his entire career in the NFC South with the Bucs (2015-19) and New Orleans Saints.

His signing means that Joe Flacco, who earned Comeback Player of the Year for leading the Browns to the postseason following the season-ending injury to Deshaun Watson, is unlikely to return to Cleveland.

Winston, 30, has appeared in 93 career games (80 starts) and has a 34-46 record — 28-42 with the Bucs and 6-4 with the Saints. He’s completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 22,104 yards with 141 touchdowns and 99 interceptions.

As a rusher, he has added 11 touchdowns and 1,214 yards on 298 carries.

In limited action in seven games as Derek Carr’s backup in New Orleans last season, Winston completed 25 passes for 264 yards with two TDs and three interceptions.

Also Tuesday, the Washington Commanders and quarterback Marcus Mariota reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year deal. Mariota was the No. 2 pick behind Winston in 2015.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis III (24) gestures after a play against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of a 2024 NFC wild card game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Lions receive CB Carlton Davis III in trade with Buccaneers

The Detroit Lions acquired veteran cornerback Carlton Davis III from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, according to multiple reports.

The Lions will also receive sixth-round picks in the 2024 and 2025 drafts, while Tampa Bay will receive a 2024 third-round selection from Detroit.

Davis is slated to earn $14 million in base salary in 2024 in the final season of a three-year, $44.5 million deal.

Davis, 27, spent his first six NFL seasons with the Buccaneers and has nine interceptions, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and 324 tackles in 76 games (75 starts).

He had a career-best four interceptions in 2020 when he earned a Super Bowl ring with Tampa Bay.

Davis played college football for Auburn and was selected in the second round of the 2018 draft.

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers place kicker Chase McLaughlin (4) kicks a field goal held by punter Jake Camarda (5) against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs bring back K Chase McLaughlin on 3-year deal

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are re-signing kicker Chase McLaughlin to a new three-year deal, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Financial terms were not reported.

McLaughlin, 27, set a Bucs record in 2023 by making 29 of 31 field-goal attempts (93.5 percent), including 7 of 8 from 50 yards or more.

Tampa is McLaughlin’s seventh team since entering the league in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of a 2024 NFC wild card game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield back with Bucs on reported 3-year, $100M deal

Baker Mayfield is re-signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year, $100 million contract with $50 million guaranteed, multiple reports said Sunday.

The contract includes incentives that could take the contract to as much as $115 million, the reports said.

“I wanted a chance to come back,” Mayfield told ESPN. “I love Coach (Todd) Bowles and the staff. I’m happy to be here, and I want to win more in the postseason.”

Mayfield, 28, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft by the Cleveland Browns but was traded to the Carolina Panthers after his first four seasons there, which included the franchise’s first playoff appearance in 18 years.

He split an unsuccessful 2022 season with the Panthers and Los Angeles Rams before catching on with Tampa Bay last year following Tom Brady’s retirement.

Mayfield threw for career highs of 4,044 yards and 28 touchdowns with 10 interceptions while starting all 17 games. Tampa Bay won the NFC South and beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild-card round of the playoffs before falling to No. 2 seed Detroit.

In 89 games (86 starts) over six NFL seasons, Mayfield has career totals of 20,332 passing yards, 130 touchdowns, 74 interceptions, 823 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) celebrates a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of a 2024 NFC wild card game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

GM: Bucs must plan for possibility QB Baker Mayfield leaves

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield can begin exploring other options in free agency on Monday, and general manager Jason Licht is preparing to do the same.

Mayfield flourished in 2023 under offensive coordinator Dave Canales, leading Tampa Bay to the NFC South division crown and a wild-card playoff win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

However, a boatload of free agents left Licht with frayed priorities and limited funds, especially after using the franchise tag to retain safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and signing free-agent-to-be Mike Evans to a two-year deal.

Mayfield passed for 4,044 yards with 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in the 2023 regular season. He had a pair of 300-yard games in the playoffs, putting up 337 yards and three touchdowns against Philadelphia and 349-3 with two interceptions at Detroit in a 31-23 loss during the divisional playoff round.

Licht remains optimistic the Buccaneers can bring Mayfield back but understands the reality of their predicament.

“As Bruce (Arians) would say, look behind Door No. 2, 3 and 4 and 5. We always feel like we need options,” Licht said Friday.

Mayfield, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft, had played for three teams since 2021 (Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Rams) before he signed a one-year deal in free agency last March.

The Bucs are in active talks with linebacker Lavonte David, another free agent, Licht said.

Evans signed his $52 million deal that runs through 2025 on Friday and gave his two cents on the quarterback situation.

“I think he’s an elite quarterback,” Evans said of Mayfield, assessing his confidence Mayfield will be his quarterback in 2024. “I’m extremely confident. I’m not 100 percent, but he played really great for us last year. The city took him in, the players loved him. Hopefully we get him back, but he should do what’s best for him.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates the touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans inks two-year, $41M deal

With a chance to run a fly pattern into free agency, Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans opted for the comeback route.

Evans officially signed a two-year, $41 million contract on Friday to extend his career in Tampa Bay into an 11th season.

The deal includes $29 million guaranteed, according to ESPN. He’ll resume his pursuit of Jerry Rice’s record of 11 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2024 after hitting that mark in each of his first 10 years with the Bucs.

“The first 10 years of Mike’s time in Tampa have been truly unprecedented and we look forward to seeing him continue to break records and add to his legendary career as a Buccaneer,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said. “Mike is a special player who has made a lasting impact on this franchise and in our community. As great as he’s been on the field, Mike and his wife, Ashli, have had an even bigger effect in the Tampa Bay area through all their charitable work. He is crucial to our team success and exemplifies everything we want our players to be.”

Evans said Friday his goal all along was to be with the same franchise from the start of his career to the finish.

“Tampa is home,” Evans said, noting he and his wife briefly discussed what it would be like to play elsewhere before coming to the joint realization a return was the option they wanted.

Evans was the first draft pick Licht made as general manager, selected seventh overall in the 2014 draft. Now the Buccaneers are focused on bringing back quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is ticketed for unrestricted free agency after leading Tampa Bay to the NFC South title and playoffs in his only season with the team.

This is Evans’ third contract with the Buccaneers.

Evans has been a team captain seven consecutive seasons.

The 30-year-old was ticketed for free agency at the turn of the new league year next week. He just finished a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Bucs, but Licht and head coach Todd Bowles sent strong signals in recent days that they weren’t letting Evans out of town.

“He came to work every day, he came into play every day, as you can see as a result from his statistics,” Bowles said at the NFL Scouting Combine last week. “You know, he he’s been here for like a decade and he’s done the same thing every year. He’s been very consistent. He’s very dynamic yet he’s very humble off the field, but he’s a confident player. He’s one of my favorite players. I have a lot of respect for Mike and everything he does. He’s earned what he done.”

Evans had 79 catches for 1,255 yards with a league-leading 13 touchdowns last season.

He has 762 career receptions for 11,680 yards and 94 TDs in 154 games (153 starts). He also has 709 yards receiving and five TDs in nine postseason games, two of those TDs coming in the 2020 Super Bowl run.

–Field Level Media