Buccaneers’ $52 Million Cornerback Named One of NFL’s Most Overpaid Players

Jamel Dean

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Jamel Dean.

To quote the great Janet Jackson, the NFL is very much the type of business where “What have you done for me lately?” applies to almost everything — including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ payroll.

In that vein, Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon singled out Tampa Bay cornerback Jamel Dean and his four-year, $52 million contract on Bleacher Report’s list of the most overpaid players in the NFL following the bulk of 2024 free-agency now in the rearview mirror.

“The five-year veteran was frequently burned in coverage in 2023,” Gagnon wrote, “and he isn’t much of a playmaker (two interceptions total in the last two seasons). He’s not living up to a four-year, $52 million contract.”

Dean is just one season into the massive contract he signed in March 2023 that included $24.5 million in guaranteed money and will pay him approximately $12.5 million in 2024.

Buccaneers’ Investment in Jamel Dean Paid Off Until 2023

Dean was a great bargain regarding the Buccaneers’ financial investment after they drafted him in the third round out of Auburn in 2019.

Dean set a Buccaneers’ franchise record as a rookie with 19 pass deflections and was one of the keys on defense to the team’s run to winning a Super Bowl in 2020, with a career-high 62 tackles. He also became one of just three players in NFL history to return an interception for a touchdown against quarterback Aaron Rodgers when he picked off the future Hall of Famer and returned it 32 yards for a score.

Dean’s productivity dropped off in 2023 after signing the $52 million contract. It was his first NFL season without an interception and he allowed a career-high 42 receptions on 61 targets, according to PFF’s advanced stats.

Dean was one of five cornerbacks to make Gagnon’s list and seems like an economically conservative option compared to most of the others; New Orleans Saints’ Marshon Lattimore (5 years, $97.6 million), Miami Dolphins’ Xavien Howard (5 years, $90 million) and Green Bay Packers’ Jaire Alexander (4 years, $84 million).

One final cornerback to make the list is a name Buccaneers fans are familiar with.


Both of Bucs’ Corners From 2023 Made Overpaid List

Gagnon’s final cornerback to make his list of the most overpaid player on all 32 NFL teams was Detroit Lions cornerback Carlton Davis, who played opposite Dean on the Buccaneers in 2023.

Davis signed a 3-year, $44.5 million contract with the Buccaneers in 2022 and was traded to Detroit on March 11 in exchange for a third-round pick in 2024 and sixth-round picks in 2024 and 2025, then agreed to a one-year $14.5 million contract with the Lions.

“The good news for the Lions is most of the overpriced six-year veteran’s money is coming from the Buccaneers, who are on the hook for a $14.1 million dead-cap charge for Davis,” Gagnon wrote. “He’ll make a walk-year salary within that range in 2024, despite being injury prone and unreliable in coverage these days.”

Both Davis and Dean had their names floated in trade rumors in early March by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

“Teams have also told me that the Buccaneers are open to potentially parting with either of their starting corners, Carlton Davis III or Jamel Dean,” Fowler wrote on March 1.

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