Tampa Bay couldn’t keep them all as Buccaneers safety Andrew Adams became the first player from the 2020 Super Bowl championship team to depart in free agency on Thursday.
Adams signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, Zach Berman of The Athletic reported. Berman noted veteran “has 32 starts in five seasons with the [New York] Giants and Bucs.”
Eagles Insider’s Dave Spadaro likes the move. He called Adams a “good culture guy.”
Adams showed a team-first approach when he saw his role shrink in 2020 after starting 15 games between 2018 and 2019 per Pewter Report’s Jon Ledyard. Adams stepped up when needed in the NFC Championship game as the Bucs faced injuries in the secondary.
The former Connecticut standout has 166 career tackles and six interceptions, four of those coming in the 2018 season with the Bucs. In his last two seasons as a starter in Tampa, he garnered 38 tackles in 2018 and 46 tackles in 2019.
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Adams’ Time in Tampa
Adams’ first opportunity with the Bucs came in 2018 when safety Chris Conte got injured according to Buccaneers.com’s Scott Smith. Adams played in 13 games and started in four that season. He garnered 38 tackles and picked off four passes.
Three of those interceptions came in one game, tying a franchise record, per Smith. Adams did that to then-Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in a Bucs victory.
In 2019, Adams playing time increased with 11 starts in 14 games played. He matched a career-high 46 tackles, forced a fumble, and made one pick.
It didn’t amount to a bigger role in 2020 as the Bucs drafted safety Antoine Winfield Jr. from Minnesota. Winfield became one of the best defensive rookies in the league in 2020. The Bucs already had depth at safety with 2019 draft pick Mike Edwards having a rookie season with 45 tackles and a sack in 2019.
In 2020, Edwards picked off a couple of passes, and Winfield made 64 tackles and forced two fumbles.
Adams had two tackles on defense in 2020 during the regular season, but he stepped in for an injured Winfield and made five tackles against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game. Adams notably helped out on a key goal-line pass break up against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers per Ledyard.
Tampa will still have depth at safety with Edwards and Winfield amid Aadams’ departure.
Bucs Free Agency Status
The Bucs entered the offseason with more than 20 free agents, and several have re-signed in the past two weeks. That includes Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin received the franchise tag last week and officially signed on Thursday for $15.9 million per ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Linebackers Lavonte David and Kevin Minter inked new deals last week. The Bucs re-signed linebacker Shaquil Barrett and tight end Rob Gronkowski on Monday. Guard Aaron Stinnie and kicker Ryan Succop re-signed with the Bucs on Wednesday.
The Bucs still have numerous key free agents to re-sign as of Thursday. Bucs management has been in talks with multiple free agents, directly or with their representatives, such as wide receiver Antonio Brown, running back Leonard Fournette, and defensive end Ndamukong Suh per Laine’s Tweet on Tuesday.