What Happens At Safety This Offseason?

Welcome to the offseason version of Bucs Briefing! My weekly column will seem every Wednesday morning, usually detailing key observations concerning the group’s offseason. We’ll take a look at tape, scheme, free company, draft prospects and main storylines as we prepare for an offseason filled with intrigue.

This week, we’re trying on the Bucs offseason outlook at security. Who’re their free brokers, which of them will seemingly return and what free agent/draft choices at security make sense for Tampa Bay?

The Bucs have two certainties of their security room for 2022: Professional Bowler Antoine Winfield, Jr. and Mike Edwards will probably be again. The one query is that if free brokers Jordan Whitehead and Andrew Adams will be a part of them. Adams is probably going an inexpensive re-signing and the Bucs clearly worth him. He performed very effectively when known as upon this previous season, and he’s a very good particular teamer.

Whitehead might undoubtedly be again. He’s at the moment projected to obtain a three-year, $18 million contract per Professional Soccer Focus. That’s not out of Tampa Bay’s value vary, and comparatively low-cost for a security. Whitehead is an ascending participant, however nonetheless beneath the prototypes that will get paid in free company at his place. The NFL simply hasn’t historically seen a lot worth in robust safeties.

Nonetheless, Whitehead is enhancing as an all-around participant. He’s additionally not even 25 years outdated but, so he might nonetheless receives a commission once more in just a few years. Proper now, Whitehead’s talent set gained’t be an excellent match for a lot of defensive schemes. However he’s an ideal slot in Tampa Bay, and gained’t hamper the group’s capacity to make strikes down the street both. I feel the Bucs ought to make an effort to convey him again if he’s within the $6-7 million per 12 months vary.

Free Agent Safeties For Bucs To Goal

The Bucs aren’t going to have a lot cash to spend in free company – if they bring about again their very own high free brokers. The excellent news is that it isn’t onerous to search out stable robust safeties for affordable in free company. These choices may not be Whitehead, however they will help the Bucs fill his void if the veteran strikes on. If Whitehead stays, I wouldn’t count on Tampa Bay to make a transfer in free company.

If Whitehead leaves, the Bucs must determine methods to strategy the security room. Do they merely look to switch Whitehead with an analogous robust security? Or do they search for a extra versatile participant or perhaps a true free security? That may permit them to be extra versatile with Winfield, placing him within the slot or utilizing him within the field extra typically. Proper now, Winfield performs most of his snaps at free security.

Within the draft, there aren’t loads of free security choices. Particularly prospects that might play straight away. However in free company, a loaded group is about to hit the market. Nonetheless, most will probably be out of Tampa Bay’s value vary. So I’ve listed some versatile/free security choices Tampa Bay might take into account, in addition to a pair extra direct replacements for Whitehead.

Marcus Maye, New York Jets • Age: 27 • 60 video games, 6 interceptions, 24 go breakups

If Maye hadn’t gotten damage this previous season, he’d have priced himself out of the Bucs’ vary. Now, nevertheless, PFF initiatives his subsequent contract at one-year, $6 million. If that’s all Maye will value, he’ll be on the Bucs’ radar. In spite of everything, Todd Bowles was the top coach when New York drafted him within the second spherical in 2017.

Maye has been at his greatest as a free security, however he’s very able to enjoying across the line of scrimmage, too. His versatility could be actually useful to the Bucs in the event that they wish to get Winfield nearer to the motion extra typically. Maye has match with nearly each security New York paired him with over time. And he’d most likely like not being the one competent defender in a secondary for a change.

Nonetheless, Maye tore his Achilles in early November. So his well being will probably be necessary for the Bucs to watch within the coming weeks.

Jaquiski Tartt • Age: 30 • 80 video games, 4 interceptions, 18 go breakups

Tartt has been a stable, dependable participant for years in San Francisco. Like Whitehead, he does the little issues effectively and isn’t a legal responsibility, but additionally hasn’t been an enormous playmaker. Whitehead has proven extra splash play flashes over the previous two years, which is why I might hold him. But when the Bucs gained’t do this, Tartt is an effective fallback choice.

I don’t suppose the 30-year outdated would demand greater than Whitehead in free company. However Tartt is flexible sufficient to permit the Bucs to deploy Winfield extra across the field too. He can step into the slot, play deep and defend the run. He’s sensible, bodily and really energetic. Tartt suits the Bucs prototype and wouldn’t break the financial institution.

Different choices for the Bucs might embrace Steelers security Terrell Edmunds or Giants security Jabrill Peppers. Each are robust safeties who would mirror Whitehead’s function extra instantly, however not as effectively.

Security Draft Prospects For The Bucs

Jaquan Brisker, Penn State • 6-1, 200

Brisker is a bodily, aggressive security who falls into the precise mildew of a Whitehead. He’s larger than the Bucs robust security, however does his greatest work across the field and in shallow, beneath zones. Brisker isn’t a foul athlete, however I don’t suppose you’ll see him blow away the NFL Scouting Mix both. There’s sufficient anticipation and ball expertise to play him deep, though he’ll by no means be a super single-high choice.

That’s a reasonably related talent set to Whitehead, however on the seemingly value of a second-round choose. I do suppose Whitehead is a little bit faster to set off downhill and discover the soccer. However it’s necessary to recollect it took a pair years for this model of Whitehead to manifest. Most thought he’d be extra of a deep security within the NFL.

Brisker is on the high of the display on the surface right here (No. 1). Nice job blowing via the block for the sort out for loss.

Brisker has extra pure measurement to play within the field on the subsequent stage. Nonetheless, his tackling might want to enhance. He’s too massive to let ball carriers slip via his grasp on the subsequent stage. However all of the traits are there for Brisker to play via contact and end across the field. For the way in which Tampa Bay makes use of its safeties, he’s a simple match. He’s additionally flashed man protection capacity with physicality and size, though he is usually a bit contact-heavy in protection.

Brisker is enjoying as an overhang defender right here, setting the sting on the puller and forcing the ball again inside.

I might undoubtedly see Brisker turning into a bit extra scheme versatile than Whitehead over time. Nonetheless, Whitehead is perhaps the most effective field security within the NFL, and he’s rising in zone protection. I gained’t diminish the significance of that mixture. If the Bucs gained’t spend cash on him, Brisker is an effective different later within the draft.

Lewis Cine, Georgia • 6-1, 200

Cine was one of many hardest hitters in faculty soccer. He was at his greatest in massive video games for the Bulldogs, enjoying lights out within the playoffs. He’s most likely greatest recognized for his enormous hit on Kyle Pitts through the 2020 season, however that’s removed from his solely massive shot. Cine performs an aggressive, bodily model of soccer that can mesh effectively within the Bucs protection.

Cine is a terrific beneath defender who has flashed man protection capacity as effectively. He can throttle down and break with receivers on the high of the route. That’s uncommon for a security prospect. I feel he’s a greater athlete than Brisker, with higher protection upside.

A few of Cine’s processing reps are excellent. He does must decrease his goal space as a tackler, as he is available in too excessive at instances. Cine can play throughout at security, however may not have the vary or ball expertise for a single-high function. Regardless of being a two-year starter, Cine solely intercepted two passes at Georgia. However 9 of his 14 profession go breakups got here final 12 months, as Cine improved his capacity to focus on the ball in protection.

His ceiling may not be Professional Bowl-level, however Cine’s ground is excessive. The junior appears to be like like a plug-and-play starter at a possible place of want for the Bucs. Nonetheless, Tampa Bay may need to draft Cine on the finish of Spherical 1 if they need him. In a skinny security class, it’s extremely unlikely he lasts till the sixtieth choose.


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