Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. becomes NFL's highest-paid DB with new $84M deal

The Bucs placed the franchise tag on Winfield in March before announcing his new contract on Monday

Antoine Winfield Jr.
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All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. has agreed to a four-year, $84 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that makes him the highest-paid defensive back in the NFL.

The Bucs announced an agreement Monday. The 25-year-old, who as a rookie helped the team win its second Super Bowl championship, had been due to earn just over $17 million next season under the franchise tag.

The signing continues a solid offseason as general manager Jason Licht's top priority was to retain the core of a roster that’s won three consecutive NFC South titles.

In addition to placing the franchise tag on Winfield in March, the Bucs re-signed quarterback Baker Mayfield (three years, $115 million), career receiving leader Mike Evans (two years, $52 million) and veteran linebacker Lavonte David (one-year, $10 million) to keep those key players from leaving in free agency.

Winfield was a second-round draft pick in 2020, became an immediate starter and helped the Tom Brady-led Bucs win the Super Bowl as a rookie.

He's the son of former Minnesota Vikings standout cornerback Antoine Winfield, Sr. and leads all NFL defensive backs in sacks (15), quarterback hits (21), forced fumbles (11) and fumble recoveries (eight) since entering the league.

Tampa Bay has made the playoffs in each of Winfield’s four seasons. In 2023, he led the team with three interceptions while also joining T.J. Watt (2019), Justin Tuck (2010) and Terrell Suggs (2003) as the only players since 2000 to have five-plus sacks (six), five-plus takeaways (seven) and five-plus forced fumbles (six) in the same season.

Now that a long-term deal is in place with Winfield, Licht figures to turn his attention to securing a contract extension with Pro Bowl left tackle Tristan Wirfs, who is scheduled to earn $18.2 million in 2024 under the club's fifth-year option.

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