Bucs and Antoine Winfield agree 4 year extension, making him NFL’s top-paid defensive back

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers strategically utilized the franchise tag on All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield Jr. on March 5, aiming to secure his presence in the team’s roster for the foreseeable future. Recently, Winfield and the Buccaneers finalized a four-year contract extension, spanning until the culmination of the 2027 season, solidifying their commitment to the talented defender.

Tampa Bay, Florida, USA, November 12, 2023, Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Antoine Winfield Jr #31 celebrate after making an interception at Raymond James Stadium. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Winfield’s exceptional performance in the 2023 season earned him his first-ever Associated Press first-team honors, underscoring his status as one of the NFL’s premier playmakers. With an impressive stat line that included 122 tackles, 6.0 sacks, three interceptions, and a plethora of other defensive contributions, Winfield emerged as the highest-graded safety in the league by Pro Football Focus, boasting a remarkable score of 91.2. His versatility was further highlighted by becoming the first defensive back since 1999 to achieve five sacks and five forced fumbles in a single season.

This multi-year agreement reflects the Buccaneers’ commitment to retaining their key talents, following suit with other pivotal signings such as wide receiver Mike Evans, linebacker Lavonte David, quarterback Baker Mayfield, and kicker Chase McLaughlin. Winfield’s impressive career statistics, including 384 tackles, 15.0 sacks, and a franchise-record for safeties in sacks, underscore his significance to the team’s defense.

Despite not securing a Pro Bowl nod in 2023, Winfield’s recognition as a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press reaffirms his standing among the league’s elite safeties. Notably, this negotiation mirrors the team’s successful retention strategy seen previously with star receiver Chris Godwin in 2022, marking a trend of leveraging franchise tags to secure long-term deals for top-tier players.

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