May 18, 2024

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Buccaneers agree to Antoine Winfield to a 4-year, $81.4 million contract

Buccaneers agree to Antoine Winfield to a 4-year, $81.4 million contract

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Antoine Winfield Jr. have reached agreement on a four-year, $84.1 million deal, agent David Mulugeta told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

The deal makes Winfield the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history — the first time in modern NFL history that a safety has set that mark.

Winfield’s deal includes a $45 million guarantee, the largest amount ever given to a safety.

The Buccaneers have focused on re-signing their stars this offseason. Besides Winfield, quarterback Baker Mayfield (three years, $100 million), wide receiver Mike Evans (two years, $41 million) and linebacker Lavonte David (one year, $8.5 million) also re-signed with Tampa Bay.

Winfield received the franchise tag from the Buccaneers in March. Nine players received franchise or transfer tags from their teams this offseason, and Winfield became the eighth player to agree to a long-term contract.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins is the only player to receive the franchise tag who has yet to agree to a long-term deal. Higgins, who requested a trade but said he expects to play in Cincinnati this season, has until July 15 to agree to a long-term contract or he will have to play the 2024 season on a franchise tender.

Winfield, who was named a team captain last season for the first time in his career, had one of the best performances of any defensive player in the league in 2023 — tying a league-leading six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. , joining Haason Reddick as the only players to accomplish this feat since at least 2000.

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He recorded 122 tackles – fourth among all defensive backs in the league and second on the team – with six tackles for loss, 12 passes defended, 6 sacks, 8 quarterback hits, and 3 interceptions.

His 1,100 shots in 2023 were more than any other defensive player on the team. For Winfield Jr.’s efforts, he was named first-team All-Pro.

A second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the son of former Pro Bowl and All-Pro linebacker Antoine Winfield Sr. and Jim Thorpe, he became a Day 1 starter at safety, before switching to nickelback in 2022. Returning to Mainland Safety in 2023. He recorded a forced fumble on Drew Brees in the Bucs’ playoff win over the New Orleans Saints in 2020 and intercepted Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV.

In the 2021 playoff round, Winfield sacked Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts for a 5-yard loss. In the divisional playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams, he forced and recovered a Cam Akers fumble.

Winfield, 25, has 122 tackles, 15 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and 7 interceptions in 59 career games.

ESPN’s Jenna Lynn contributed to this report.