Football Outsiders: Safety Is A Quiet Need For Bucs

April 25th, 2022

Bucs safety Mike Edwards

Whenever Joe reads or hears someone suggest the Bucs need a safety, Joe shakes his head violently so the ear wax dislodges, or runs to a sink for an eye-cleansing face wash.

The Bucs have tons of safeties, maybe too many safeties. Ah, but alas, the Bucs likely will not have too many safeties for long.

The Football Outsiders gang, typing for BSPN, doesn’t think a whole lot of Mike Edwards and they point out that both Keanu Neal and Logan Ryan have one-year contracts. Edwards is also a free agent after this season.

The only safety the Bucs have on the roster in 2023 is Antoine Winfield. So why not get a safety now, get his feet wet and ready to start next year, the Football Outsiders type.

Quiet need: Safety

… they can start to plan for the future with most of their mid-round picks. That includes trying to find a long-term answer next to Antoine Winfield Jr. at safety. Jordan Whitehead left in free agency, and Tampa Bay brought in Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal as replacements. That should be fine for this season, but both players are on one-year contracts for a reason. Ryan’s 31 years old, and Neal has a lengthy injury history and a lack of success away from Dan Quinn. Drafting someone who could gain experience in 2022 and take over a starting role in 2023 wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Joe has made the same argument at cornerback. And Joe strongly believes a corner will have more of a 2022 impact than a safety drafted at No. 27. Similar to at safety, the Bucs have two starting cornerbacks entering free agency after the 2022 season, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting. Because of the current salary cap pinch, Joe doesn’t believe today that the Bucs will keep both.

Now, if the Bucs are talking about a hybrid rookie who can play safety and/or corner, then that’s different. You know, some guy like Dax Hill.

19 Responses to “Football Outsiders: Safety Is A Quiet Need For Bucs”

  1. Kalind Says:

    This is asinine. A team trying to win it all now, WILL NOT be interested in drafting a FIFTH safety just so they can ride the pine behind 4 studs. No thank you. Some people are just too stupid.

  2. Allbuccedup Says:

    Trade down and get an extra pick. Safety/cornerback, Defense Line and Left Guard.

  3. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Silliness. Safeties are much easier to find and pay than cornerbacks.

    It’s like taking a guard with a high pick if you have equal needs at guard and tackle; or taking a running back high if you have an equal need at wide receiver.

    Silly season is almost over.

  4. Steven007 Says:

    As always it all depends on how the draft falls to us. If Dax Hill is higher on the board then the remaining cornerbacks and d and o lineman, he’ll be the pick. That’s the Bucs board of course. Doubt that will be the case but who knows.

  5. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    A few more days….

  6. Guzzie Says:

    4 studs??? How many 1 year veteran minimum contract players you know in history of the entire NFL would be considered a stud, they came cheap for reason, you get studs drafting them not off the streets, Edwards is decent, not studly otherwise he wouldn’t be a backup his whole career, a 1st round safety isn’t ideal, but you want 5-8 year starters with that pick, regardless of position

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Where do these morons get their really stupid insights? Safety is proabbly the deepest sub-unit on the defense.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If I had to lay out priorities right now….S would be way down the list.

    DT, CB, OG, OLB, ILB, TE, RB, S

    What about a TE?…..Even if Gronk comes back, it’s his last year…..Brate is old…..
    All this same logic could be used for TE.
    Do I think we should draft a TE in the first….nope….not unless the best one in the draft is there ….but certainly one from the first 4 rounds.

  9. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Hill is labeled a safety but all I read is he so versatile he can play nickel n outside cause of his speed and instinct. Grab him n plug him in 3 or 4 diff roles on the def. It’s a passing league n our secondary isn’t the best we all know this build the trenches or the secondary. Let’s go Bucs

  10. Jor God the Binks Says:

    Jalen Pitre in the 2nd round is just the kind of Swiss Army knife DB (that can play almost anywhere in backend, Safety, as well as slot and in the box too) we could use. Just turn on a Baylor game, including the Oklahoma State Bowl Game, and watch. Not the highlights. Watch the full games and you’ll see him stand out easy. Just like AWJ did at Minnesota when no one was talking about him pre-Draft. While a bit different style of players, he’s got some similarities and vibes to Winfield Jr….also taken in the 2nd round!

    Pitre could fill in for both Edwards and SMB too, if needed, and who are both set to hit FA next year. He can do more than that if needed and can even be used on the outside in a pinch and did play outside at Baylor (especially in iso in red zone defense). He’s just a football player and he’s so versatile. Sounds like a Bowies type of defender to me.

  11. rrsrq Says:

    ” Neal has a lengthy injury history and a lack of success away from Dan Quinn” – has he ever not played for Quinn – I do not think playing for Bowles is a down grade – if healthy, he could earn more years, ala Shaq, Suh…

  12. zzbucs Says:

    What? Seems to me, and I am really sorry to say, this people have no clue what they are talking about…..Safety??? Winfield, Neal, Edwards,Ryan…….

    What about DL, OG, TE, CB and WR?????

  13. Buczilla Says:

    I’m warming up to Dax if the top outside linebackers, wide receivers, and corners are gone. Unless Dean and Bunting show dramatic improvement this year and stay healthy I hope that we don’t bring either back for 2023 unless it’s dirt cheap.

  14. Ash Says:

    Safety is fine if the player is the highest rated on their draft board. Only proven players are Winfield and Edwards. Edwards isn’t a stud but an ok player Ryan wasn’t a very good safety is alot better in the slot and Neal is an unknown was good but injury history says he is a gamble.

  15. Leighroy Says:

    If your argument was wrong on another position, why would it be valid on this one?

    After this year’s draft, there is still a trade deadline, another year of free agency and another draft in ’23 to address next year’s position needs. Why is everyone so gung-ho to address future problems, when we have current positional problems today at DT, OG, TE and Edge Rusher?

    If a talent falls where the value is just outstanding, that’d be one thing. But it’s a whole other to be reaching for need at a position that isn’t an issue until next year!

  16. sasquatch Says:

    Safety is not a quiet need. It’s a need period. Edwards has never been a day 1 starter and has only 1 year. Neal has an extensive injury history and only has 1 year. Ryan is an aging CB, not necessarily a safety, and has only 1 year. The only one who can be an in-the-box safety is Neal. So how is safety not a screaming need? I mean, at least our CBs are still young and may improve. So, we may have numbers at safety, but do we have stability, do we have quality?

    D needs in order:
    1. DL
    2a. SS
    2b. CB
    3a. OLB/Edge
    3b. ILB successor to David and quality backup, or possibly someone to replace D. White if his performance continues to be eclipsed by hype.

    Addressing any of those needs would be welcome.

  17. David Says:

    Unless they think Edwards, Neil, Logan are all more suited in the slot and then I don’t see why they would pick a safety otherwise. There are more pressing needs. DT

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    Just don’t draft the corner from Florida. For the love of God do not draft any Florida players in the 1st round.

  19. alaskabuc Says:

    First off, we aren’t letting Mike Edwards out the door next year, let’s put that to rest. Secondly, if the potential pick is more of a hybrid cb/safety or safety/lb that adds versatility to a defensive minded coach’s bag of tricks. Lastly, if the kid turns out to be a stud does anyone truly care what position he plays as long as the staff can put him to use?