Buccaneers Antoine Winfield agrees to 4-year, $81.4M contract

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Antoine Winfield Jr. have reached an agreement on a four-year, $84.1 million contract, agent David Mulugeta told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

The deal makes Winfield the highest-paid defensive tackle in NFL history — the first time a defense has set the mark in modern NFL history.

Winfield’s contract includes $45 million guaranteed, which is always given to a safety.

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 re-signed with Tampa Bay.

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

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Dee Higgins is the only player with the franchise tag who has yet to agree to a long-term deal. Higgins, who requested a trade but said he expects to play in Cincinnati this season, must agree to a long-term contract through July 15 or play out the 2024 season at the franchise’s tender.

Winfield, named a team captain for the first time in his career last season, turned in one of the best performances of any defensive player in the league in 2023 — tying for a league-leading six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. , joining Hassan Reddick as the only players to accomplish the feat since at least 2000.

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

His 1,100 snaps in 2023 are more than any other defensive player on the team. For Winfield Jr.’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 was an immediate first-day starter at safety before moving to the nickelbacks in 2022. and returned to defense in 2023. He recorded Drew Brees’ forced fumble in the Bucks’ 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 a divisional playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams, he forced and recovered a Cam Akers fumble.

Winfield, 25, has 122 tackles, 15 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and 7 interceptions in 59 career games.

ESPN’s Jenna Line contributed to this report.

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