Buccaneers Could Look to Trade Starting Cornerback Before 2024 Season - Sport News

Buccaneers Could Look to Trade Starting Cornerback Before 2024 Season

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers proved there was talent beyond retired quarterback Tom Brady by winning the NFC South Division for a third straight season and making it to the second round of the postseason tournament.

Heading into 2024, however, the Buccaneers find themselves squarely in the crosshairs of doubters and haters alike who are itching to predict – yet again – a total collapse after losing offensive coordinator Dave Canales and reportedly being far from a new contract for star receiver Mike Evans.

Still, even with everything circling the organization, some cap stability three years after winning a Super Bowl and hope attached to quarterback Baker Mayfield has ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler believing Tampa Bay is, “headed on the right track.”

Buccaneers Could Look to Trade Starting Cornerback Before 2024 Season

“Tampa belongs in this category thanks to four consecutive playoff appearances,” Fowler writes. “Yes, re-signing quarterback Baker Mayfield is crucial, and both sides are open to that…Then there’s receiver Mike Evans and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. Both players delivered big in contract years…Some around the league predict Tampa Bay will franchise-tag Winfield, one of the best all-around safeties, at around $17 million. Could Tampa look to trade corner Carlton Davis III, who’s due $14 million in base salary next season? He has missed 16 games over the past two years but is a cover corner who would have a market.”

Trading Davis for draft capital would not only give the Buccaneers more selections to move around with or add talent through, but it would also save the team $6 million in 2024 salary cap space.

Pushing their total payroll availability to around $45 million would be crucial to bringing back Mayfield, Evans, and Winfield, and with prospects like Missouri cornerback Ennis Rakestraw Jr. available in the back end of the first round in this year’s NFL Draft, a replacement could be sought out in short order.

Rakestraw is slightly shorter and has a more slender build than Davis but his experience and toughness aren’t being questioned by anyone.

His ability to play man coverage suits coach Todd Bowles’ defense well, and while it’s not logical to expect veteran play from a rookie, he’s not a bad option if the team decides to go that route.

Of course, Tampa Bay could also open itself to adding a late-first-round offensive tackle like Washington’s Troy Fautanu and target a guy like Notre Dame’s Cam Hart on Day 2.

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