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Antoine Winfield Jr. of Bucs becomes the NFL’s highest-paid DB – NBC New York

All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has agreed to a four-year, $84 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.

The Bucs announced an agreement on Monday. The 25-year-old, who helped the team win its second Super Bowl championship as a rookie, is set to make just over $17 million under the franchise tag next season.

The signing continues a solid offseason as general manager Jason Licht’s top priority has been to retain the core of a roster that has won three straight NFC South titles.

In addition to placing the franchise tag on Winfield in March, the Bucs re-signed quarterback Baker Mayfield (three years, $115 million), career receiving leader Mike Evans (two years, $52 million) and veteran linebacker Lavonte David (one year, $115 million ). $10 million) to prevent those key players from leaving free.

Winfield was a second-round draft pick in 2020, becoming an immediate starter and helping the Tom Brady-led Bucs win the Super Bowl as a rookie.

He is the son of former Minnesota Vikings standout cornerback Antoine Winfield, Sr. and leads all NFL defensive backs in sacks (15), quarterback hits (21), forced fumbles (11) and fumble recoveries (eight) since entering the league.

Tampa Bay has made the playoffs in each of Winfield’s four seasons. In 2023, he led the team with three interceptions, while also joining TJ Watt (2019), Justin Tuck (2010) and Terrell Suggs (2003) as the only players since 2000 with five-plus sacks (six), five-plus takeaways . (seven) and five-plus forced fumbles (six) in the same season.

Now that a long-term deal is in place with Winfield, Licht wants to turn his attention to securing a contract extension with Pro Bowl player Tristan Wirfs, who is expected to make $18.2 million in 2024 under the club’s fifth-year option.