The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have secured safety Antoine Winfield Jr. with a lucrative four-year, $84.1 million contract, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This deal not only retains a key player for the Buccaneers but also sets a new benchmark in the NFL, making Winfield the highest-paid defensive back in the league with an annual salary of $21.025 million.

This contract surpasses the previous high for a defensive back, which was the $21 million annually awarded to Jaire Alexander of the Green Bay Packers in 2022. Notably, Winfield’s contract includes a guaranteed $45 million, the most ever for an NFL safety, underscoring his value and impact on the field, told Fox News.

Traditionally, the NFL’s top-paid defensive backs have been cornerbacks, with players like Denzel Ward, Jalen Ramsey, Marlon Humphrey, Marshon Lattimore, and Trevon Diggs leading the list. Winfield’s deal shifts this dynamic, highlighting the growing recognition and financial appreciation for the safety position.

The Buccaneers had previously placed a franchise player tag on Winfield in March, guaranteeing him a one-year salary of $17.123 million for 2024. However, negotiations for a more substantial and long-term commitment were already underway. “It takes two sides and they’re being totally fair, we think we’re being fair,” said Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “He wants to be here, we want him, those things usually work themselves out and I’m fairly positive about where things are going with that. … He’s the best safety in the league; he should be paid like it.”

Winfield, set to turn 26 in August, has rapidly ascended in the NFL since being drafted by Tampa Bay in the second round of the 2020 draft from Minnesota. His performance last season was outstanding, with 122 tackles, six sacks, six forced fumbles, and three interceptions, earning him first-team NFL All-Pro honors. This new contract is a testament to his exceptional skills and crucial role within the Buccaneers’ defense.



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