The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dealing with what the kids call a first-world problem.
They have over 26 pending free agents and plenty of them are worthy of landing the NFL’s franchise tag. Most teams rarely have one player who would merit that distinction, let alone multiple.
Yet that is the very issue Tampa is weighing between two of its brightest stars.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, “the belief leaguewide” is that the Bucs would prioritize the receiver over the corner. He added that “one source predicted there’s a 90% chance Tampa Bay tags Godwin, whom the Bucs do not want to lose.”
With Davis seemingly set to hit the open market, one insider believes he could land with the green and white this offseason.
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Landing a Big Time Player at a Huge Position of Need
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports did his best Will Smith impression in the movie Hitch, attempting to pair free agents with their perfect fits on the open market.
Using that strategy he paired the aforementioned Davis with the Jets.
“With lots of money to play with, the Jets get Robert Saleh a real long-term answer in the secondary, instantly improving their pass coverage with the Bucs’ tag candidate. Davis, 25, cashes in while getting the Big Apple spotlight.”
In the projected deal, Davis signed a four-year contract worth over $54 million. That $14 million per year average would make him the ninth highest-paid corner in football.
The 25-year-old has spent his entire four-year career with the Bucs and has quietly become one of the best cornerbacks in the game:
- Six interceptions
- 52 pass deflections
- Over 207 total tackles
More Affordable, Creates Flexibility
As expensive as Davis would be, it is better than the alternative.
The Jets were recently linked to New England Patriots cornerback JC Jackson who is expected to land a massive payday.
Experts believe the talented corner could reset the market for the position with over $20 million per year. In this example, the Jets would still land a really talented player at a fraction of the cost.
Also if they followed this path, it would open up the doors of flexibility in the upcoming 2022 NFL draft.
This move would take the Jets out of the running for the top cornerbacks in the upcoming draft like Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner out of Cincinnati and Derek Stingley Jr of LSU.
By locking up their new top cornerback on the open market, they could turn the attention of their two first-round picks to a variety of other needs.
Right now the Jets have more needs than picks, so literally, everything is on the table. However after free agency smacks everyone in the face, there will be a more clear path to who the green and white will pursue on draft day.