Bucs make safety Winfield NFL's highest-paid DB



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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Antoine Winfield Jr. have reached agreement on a four-year, $84.1 million deal, agent David Mulugheta announced 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 this mark.

Winfield’s deal includes $45 million guaranteed, the most ever given to a safety.

Mulugheta posted to Instagram a screengrab of his call to Winfield and congratulated his client.

“Couldn’t be happier to make this call and let @antoinewinfieldjr know he just made HISTORY! The first time that a safety is the highest paid defensive back in the NFL. In a year where the value of safeties has been questioned, the Buccaneer Organization, the Glazer Family and GM Jason Licht have stepped up and taken care of one of their most valuable family members,” he wrote in the post.

“Congratulations Antoine, you have accomplished something that has never been done before. You will forever be etched in history as the first. I appreciate your trust and cannot wait to see you back on the field.”

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

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

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins is the only player who received the franchise tag to not yet agree to a long-term deal. Higgins, who requested a trade but has 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 the franchise tender. Higgins also is represented by Mulugheta.

Winfield, who was named a team captain this past season for the first time in his career, turned in one of the finest performances of any defensive player in the league in 2023 — tying for 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.

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

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

A second-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, he is the son of former Pro Bowl, All-Pro and Jim Thorpe award-winning cornerback Antoine Winfield Sr. and became an immediate day-one starter at safety, before switching to nickelback in 2022 and back to safety in 2023. He registered a forced fumble of Drew Brees in the Bucs’ divisional playoff win over the New Orleans Saints in 2020 and intercepted Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV.

In the 2021 wild-card round of the playoffs, 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 384 tackles, 15 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and 7 interceptions in 59 career games.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine contributed to this report.





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