Bucs Insider Gives Telling Update on Trade Rumor

Todd Bowles

Getty Todd Bowles emphasized earlier this week that the Bucs won't trade Devin White.

Amid Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White wanting a trade, no suitor has emerged yet.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported that on Thursday, April 27, ahead of the NFL Draft. White asked for a trade this offseason, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, after failed contract negotiations, but the Bucs didn’t pull the trigger on a deal. Both Bucs head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Jason Licht insisted that White will play for the Bucs in 2023.

“Since Devin White’s demand to be traded, [the] Bucs say they have received no inquiries about the fifth year LB,” Stroud tweeted. “Understand, too, they have nobody on the current roster to replace him and Lavonte David is 33.”

The Bucs re-signed David in March to keep the Bucs’ linebacking corps at full strength. Bucs linebacker Shaq Barrett looks poised for a solid return from an ACL tear, and the Bucs have a young talent in linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.

As Stroud mentioned, the Bucs don’t have much depth after those four. Backup linebackers included Cam Gill, Ulysees Gilbert III, K.J. Britt, Anthony Nelson, Hamicar Rashed Jr., Charles Snowden, and J.J. Russell.

While White hasn’t drawn trade interest yet, it doesn’t make a draft night deal impossible. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine tabbed White as one of the “five players likely to be traded” on draft night.

“The Bucs might be open to trading White to a team that’s willing to give up substantial draft capital and pay him,” Ballentine wrote.

Ballentine also noted that the Bucs will claim no interest in trading White because “that’s what a team has to say to maintain any kind of leverage in trade negotiations”. The Bucs could save $11.7 million, as Ballentine noted, with a trade.

White could command $20.1 million, according to Spotrac, when his fifth-year extension with the Bucs expires, Ballentine wrote. The Bucs and White hadn’t agreed to a long-term contract, Ballentine noted, and ESPN’s Jenna Laine previously reported that White was “fed up” with the Bucs.

Tampa Bray drafted White in 2019 as the No. 5 pick out of LSU.

Todd Bowles: ‘We’re Not Trading Him’

Bowles, who spoke highly of White earlier in the offseason, emphasized that the Bucs won’t trade White.

“We’ve got him for another year like Jason said,” Bowles told reporters at the Arians Family Foundation fundraiser on Tuesday, April 25, via Stroud. “We discussed it. We’re not trading him, and we’ll go from there. It’s the offseason right now, and nothing counts. We expect him to be there when the season starts.”

White has been a reliable part of Bowles’ defense from 2019 to 2021 and last year, though with hiccups, when Bowles became the head coach. White tallied six forced fumbles, 20.5 sacks, nine fumble recoveries, 483 tackles, and one interception in four seasons.

How things will play out with White as a Buc in 2023 remains to be seen. Bowles couldn’t confirm if White will participate in mandatory minicamp or training camp this summer, according to Stroud.

“It will be up to him but we’ll coach the guys that are here,” Bowles said via Stroud. “We’ve got a good crowd in right now and we’re happy everybody is coming to participate.”

Bucs Owners Could Cause Holdup

Stroud noted that Bucs ownership doesn’t typically pay what White could ask for.

“Further complicating matters is the fact that the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, doesn’t want to guarantee $60 million of a five-year, $100 million contract similar to the one Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith signed with the Ravens in January,” Stroud wrote.

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