Buccaneers make Antoine Winfield Jr. NFL’s highest paid DB: Sources



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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. have agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $84.1 million, league sources confirmed to The Athletic. The deal will make Winfield the NFL’s highest paid defensive back.

The Buccaneers placed the franchise tag on Winfield in March. At the time, a team source told The Athletic the Buccaneers and Winfield “were too far apart” to get a deal done.

The side have now reached an agreement that will keep the 25-year-old safety in Tampa Bay for the next few years.

Winfield Jr. has been an impact player for the Buccaneers since being taken in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s earned one Pro Bowl nod (2021) and a first-team All-Pro distinction (2023).

Winfield picked up his All-Pro status last season by compiling 122 tackles, six sacks, a league-leading six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, three interceptions and 12 pass defenses. In his four seasons with Tampa Bay, Winfield has amassed 384 tackles, 27 pass defenses, 11 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries.

How he earned the payday

Just reading his traditional statistics it’s easy to point to Winfield as one of the best safeties in the NFL. Predictably, Winfield’s case holds up when diving in on advanced metrics as well.

Winfield was the No. 1 safety and No. 2 defensive back last season in “Total Points Saved,” via Sports Info Solutions. Only Dallas Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland ranked ahead of Winfield by one point, and Bland had five touchdowns off nine interceptions. The fact Winfield nearly topped Bland displays the prowess of the Tampa Bay safety. — Larry Holder, senior NFL writer

Required reading

(Photo: Cliff Welch / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)



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