A proposed trade scenario would see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers unload linebacker Devin White to an NFC rival.
As suggested by Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine, a trade that the Buccaneers “should consider” is one that involves sending White to the Detroit Lions in exchange for a 2024 second-round draft pick. Ballentine argues that Tampa Bay is nowhere near close to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and that they’re much closer to being the worst team in the NFL rather than the best one.
With the Buccaneers entering a season with low expectations, trading White for a high draft pick may be the best route to go, says Ballentine.
“So when a player like Devin White, who plays a non-premium position, is a year away from a big extension and has requested a trade, the Buccaneers should be willing to make some calls,” writes Ballentine. “Given White’s skills and age (25), the Lions should be willing to part with a top-100 draft pick to pair him with Jack Campbell in the middle of their defense.”
Why Trading Devin White Could Benefit Buccaneers
Ballentine further argues that the added draft pick could help Tampa Bay as they search for their next franchise quarterback following the retirement of Tom Brady. Furthermore, they could potentially garner a high draft pick from the Lions considering Detroit is in win-now mode after narrowly missing the playoffs last season.
“The pick would give the Buccaneers additional draft ammo for a draft that may yield a franchise quarterback while giving the Lions another potential building block,” writes Ballentine.
During the offseason, the 25-year-old White requested a trade due to reportedly being unhappy about his current contract situation. The former Pro Bowler will enter the final year of his rookie contract, which pays him just $11.7 million for this season. According to Spotrac, White’s actual market value is projected to be $20.1 million per season across four years for a total of $80.4 million. That type of contract would make White the top-paid inside linebacker in the game.
Buccaneers Have No Plans to Trade Devin White
However, the Buccaneers made it clear they had no plans to trade White shortly following his request.
“We got him onboard another year like Jason Licht said,” head coach Todd Bowles said back in April, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “We discussed it. We know we’re not trading him and we’ll go from there. We know it’s the offseason right now so nothing counts and we’re expecting him to be there when the season starts.”
Despite his trade request, White is currently participating in training camp with Tampa Bay.
As the Buccaneers enter the 2023 season, they’ll do so with a quarterback competition featuring a journeyman in Baker Mayfield — he’s playing for his fourth team in a little over a year — and Kyle Trask, who has just nine career pass attempts to his name.
Although Tampa Bay appears to be a team rebuilding on paper, they have every intention of competing as they look to clinch their fourth consecutive postseason berth. Cornerback Carlton Davis sent a warning to the rest of the league who expects the Buccaneers to regress without Brady.
“Anybody who feels we’ve lost Tom — and lost something — is going to be in for a rude awakening,” Davis said back in July, via Tyler Dunne of Go Long. “A rude awakening. Tom was a great addition for us, but obviously it’s a team sport.”
Considering the Buccaneers intend to contend this season, don’t expect them to trade White prior to the start of the season. However, if things fall off the rails early on in the season, trading White prior to the trade deadline should be considered a possibility.