Is Devin White Off “Course,” As He Defined It?

June 27th, 2023

Devin White

A couple of things to think about from the mouth of Devin White himself.

The beastly inside linebacker is entering his fifth season and is a massive X-factor in this Bucs season. Tampa Bay not only needs him to be a monster against the run, the Bucs need his terrorizing blitzing prowesss to re-emerge.

White had zero sacks in his final six regular season games last season, and he didn’t hit double-digit tackles in any of those games, the longest stretch since his rookie season.

In the playoffs against Dallas? White was a non-factor and the Bucs’ fifth-leading tackler in that game.

Despite that down stretch, White is upset about not being offered a massive contract extension this offseason. That’s why he asked for a trade earlier this year. White wants to be paid now and not play the final year of his rookie contract for $11 million-plus.

Joe was thinking about White and recalled his words on the America’s Game feature of the Bucs’ 2020 Super Bowl season.

“Sometimes people not letting you create your own legacy, that can hinder you. You know, getting all the money, getting all the fame, that can play an effect on like, ‘Hey, can you stay the course?'” White said in the documentary.

White was referring to Leonard Fournette being labeled the next Bo Jackson out of college and having to fight expectations of media and fans.

One could say White was considered the next great linebacker after his monster 2020 season that culminated in being a beast through the Bucs’ Super Bowl run. He got the fame and the high expectations — and certainly talked the talk — but hasn’t shown he can “stay the course.” And he might not want to when it comes to the Bucs.

Joe is only a little down on White. Primarily, Joe is noting the irony of White going there on camera after the 2020 season and perhaps foreshadowing his own path.

Regardless, White has all the talent, tools and support at One Buc Palace to thrive this season, lead a top-10 Bucs defense and earn a massive contract.

If White emerges in January with good but not great numbers and a somewhat shaky attitude, Joe would hope the Bucs move on. Five years and a Super Bowl from White could be viewed as a sound return on their No. 5 overall draft pick.

35 Responses to “Is Devin White Off “Course,” As He Defined It?”

  1. Upstate NY BUC Says:

    Trade him please, he is worthless in coverage!!! And he’s always gets to the gang tackle late just to make it look good. He over runs tackles in the backfield, crazy. Otherwise he not too bad….Go Bucs.

  2. DR. POPS Says:

    Could it be he has too many hits to the head?

  3. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:


  4. gp Says:

    I can’t understand why anyone is surprised at this situation.
    He announced, BEFORE he was drafted, that he was a hundred million dollar man.
    If you didn’t see this coming, you must be willfully blind.
    If he plays to his full ability this year then he will get a monster contract next year, either with us or someone else. Maybe not a hundred mil, but monster none the less.
    If he pouts and cries and plays like 5hit, or doesn’t play at all, he won’t find anybody that will pay him anything near what he thinks he’s worth.
    It could even end his career.

  5. teacherman777 Says:

    I wanted to convert Keanu Neal back to linebacker.

    Imagine LVD and Keanu Neal at linebacker?

    We would be 100 times better in coverage and not lose anything in the box.

  6. Infomeplease Says:

    He DW wants to be paid, he best play his best football this season!!! If not, he will make less money next contract! Lately, he’s not all that!!

  7. stpetebucfan Says:

    I agree with Joe on this one although I also understand the sentiment to trade White.

    White obviously has talent. He has ONE year to back up that statement. He has three years to question how much talent.

    So it’s not only gross when you consider the obscene amounts of money we’re talking here, it’s borderline moronic.

    So imagine your first year on the job you lit it up! Then the next 3 years you lose focus, fade and turn in mediocre performances. And THEN you go to ask your boss for a raise? Really?

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    teacherman777 … ‘I wanted to convert Keanu Neal back to linebacker.’

    Interesting idea, but I have trouble seeing Keanu playing Devin’s ILB position. Outside in 4-3? Sure. But inside in a 3-4? At 6′ & 211 lbs, he’d get smacked around pretty good I’d think. He’d be like Kwon Alexander me thinks; played with his hair on fire, but just couldn’t hold up when mixing it up on every play with the big dogs.

  9. Dooley Says:

    No problem with a player wanting to get paid, but when you do it as poorly as what did in regards to his timing and the way he professed it, it was kind of trash on his part. Honest, White could’ve demanded the trade internally and had it come out much later down the line w/o it being an offseason distraction like it’s been.

    OTAs & mini camp I don’t want any of our guys having to speak for their boneheaded teammate and alienation is a thing, imagine being a practice squad guy on the roster for a tryout or a UDFA coming into an environment where the $11M LBer is whining about his worth. Talk about perspective, I count White as one player that tried riding the SBLV high too damn long.

  10. captivajim Says:

    he should be traded to a team where he will not be bored —

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … Maybe White believes that his chances of making those big bucks are much better in another system? Bowles’ defense, from what I’ve read, is very ‘structured’ and maybe White prefers more ‘flexibility’ to showcase HIS talents. He was pretty much allowed to do that in 2020 (91 blitzes resulting in 9 sacks, 16 QB hits & 15 TFLs) and even again in 2021 (133 blitzes resulting in 3.5 sacks, 18 QB hits & 8 TFLs), but he apparently got throttled back to about half that in 2022 when he only blitzed 65 times, resulting in 5.5 sacks, 16 QB hits & 8 TFLs.

  12. Dooley Says:


    We blitzed less overall on defense in 2022 than we did in the years prior and part of that reason, well at least the biggest change is that we weren’t playing team ball to a level that made blitzing as much as we did from 2019-2021 make sense. Gotta scale aggression back when you’re averaging 18 ppg

  13. Fred McNeil Says:

    Inside linebackers just don’t make as much as outside linebackers. Ya can’t pay everyone $20 mil.

  14. Dooley Says:

    Salary cap is going up significantly over the next 2-3 season starting in 2024 and tbh I’d have a hard time being the Bucs paying Devin White what the 49ers(or someone else) front office will have to pay Fred Warner.

  15. zzbuc Says:

    I try not to smash Bucs player, but #45 is making it very difficult….

  16. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Move on. Rip the band-aid off. He’s gonna always be a problem.

  17. bob in valrico Says:

    Looking at DR’s posted stats it seems that the result of 133 blitzes didn’t pay off as well as expected. To be fair , if white had broken down on tackles and not been juked out of shorts by a couple QB’s he quite possibly would have had a stellar season instead of one not worthy of all the fuss about his perceived worth.

  18. Duane Says:

    He is young and prideful, and put himself in this position. Now he has to go play like a $20 million linebacker, and everyone is watching. The team is counting on him to show up, and success of the defense will likely be a reflection of his contributions. Thats a lot of money for a guy not getting double digit sack numbers.

  19. Craig Says:

    Yes, he is off course most of the time. He can’t pick an angle to a tackle well enough to make a dime.

    Someone should make a recording of his missed tackles and just plain whiffs and show it to him. Maybe he will get it then.

  20. stpetebucfan Says:


    I certainly take your point but if he had made that point it would have been received far better by the fan base. There would have been some validity to his argument based on some valid points you made. He might have upset Bowles but what is Bowles going to do about it? I know…we fans can’t do anything either other than vent here on JBF. lol

    But he comes across as just another me…me…me..guy. Again I’m sorry but 40 million dollars meets Aretha’s RESPECT for me.

    Workers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $27.64 in May 2022, 7 percent below the nationwide average of $29.76, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Think any of them might actually be GRATEFUL for 40 million.

    And at the bottom of it your post lets me know my real problem. White has a total lack of GRATITUDE. For my 75th birthday I got a small Shamrock with “Luck of the Irish”. I KNOW how incredibly grateful I am. Did I work hard…yep but at a job I loved. Does Devin work hard? Well I’m not going to question any athlete who puts their brains on the like every week, and puts in the training…but 40 million worth?

    Again I’m happy for the players and the owners and all of you who have made it. I just RESPECT some perspective and gratitude.

  21. SlyPirate Says:

    D White Timeline
    1. Played like a crap last season
    2. Embarrassing play in the playoffs
    3. Created unnecessary drama in the offseason
    4. Didn’t participate with the team in OTAs
    5. Called out by multiple teammates
    6. Came to mandatory camp out of shape

    … Move on.

  22. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    He may be looking at how Lavonte David played faithfully on crappy teams for years and years and never got to Pro Bowls despite deserving it every year.

    And because he didn’t, David’s legacy will probably not include the Hall of Fame, which he arguably deserves.

    So if you are White and you see a crappy Bucs team for the next who knows how many years, with a coach that maybe he doesn’t believe in, you can see how he’d want out.

  23. ABucAway Says:

    I won’t never have harsh words for any team member that was part of the SuperBowl LV season run. It was beautiful in the fact that there were so many unknowns that had to be overcome. D White. Murphy-bunting. Anyone who played a part and was there will always have a place. In my heart.i am grateful for everyone of them

    We need White this season to shore up the back side of the rookies and new guys on the line. One more year Devin, you got this bro.

  24. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Devin is not off course, he’s just dumb as a rock.

  25. All_da_way Says:

    I was a big fan when White came to the Bucs as he was a big part of changing the culture.

    The problem now is he has become the major obstacle holding the team back. White either adapts and improves or he will be going elsewhere after this season.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    St Pete … I understand where you’re coming from in terms of White’s seeming lack of gratitude. Devin strikes me as a player who’s definitely looking at this ‘football thingie’ as a BUSINESS (actually SHOW BUSINESS), with him playing a part. We seem to have moved into a time in our history where if someone says something loud enough & often enough, then ENOUGH people will assume it to be true. (Oh wait, that’s American politics; my bad). Well, it probably applies to football too.

    There’ve been a LOT of players over the years whose stats didn’t warrant huge contracts, but they got paid the big bucks anyways. (Did a good job of ‘selling themselves?). One Bucs player who comes to mind was Kwon Alexander. Made over $25 mil playing for San Fran back in 2019 & part of 2020 before they realized that they’d grossly overpaid for him & traded him. Kwon made $1.3 mil with the Jets last season & now he’s a free agent, yet to be picked up by anyone.

    Devin might THINK that he’s worth $100 mil over 5 years, but what HE thinks is pretty much irrelevant. It’s what the Owners & GMs & HCs think that counts. The grass isn’t always greener in someone else’s stadium.

  27. Pickgrin Says:

    Unless 45 plays like some combination of Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher this year – the Bucs should let him walk in free agency and collect the 3rd rd comp pick the following year.

    Even with improved play this year White won’t be worth the $18-20M per year he will obviously be demanding.

    If Licht gets a trade offer for White of a 3rd rd pick or better this year – I would go ahead and pull the trigger on that. Let Sirvocea Dennis start next to LD 54 for this year which would benefit the rookie LB’s development a lot more than sitting on the bench all season.

    Dennis in his 1st year would likely be at least 80-90% of the player that White already is. Perhaps even better in coverage….. for less than 1/10th the cost.

    White’s best attribute is pass rushing/blitzing (which is not exactly what you covet in a MLB) – Dennis showed in college that is one of his strengths as well – so what’s the benefit of hanging onto White for another Lame Duck season? 45 has already shown he cares more about $ than trying to lead his team to another Super Bowl and let the $ and accolades come naturally.

  28. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    I don’t think any ilb is worth 20 million per season

  29. Oddball Says:

    Said it earlier and I’ll say it again

    Too much ego WILL kill your talent.

    Get out of your own way and ball out. The money will come.

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin … Sounds like you’re expecting an awful lot from our 5th Round pick, Sirvocea Dennis. I’d be ecstatic if he just did well on Special Teams and provided some decent depth as a rookie this year. Good chance we’ll need it.

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    Dennis will surpass his 5th rd pick expectations by a country mile. Just watch how good of an NFL player this dude will ultimately be…….

    Not saying he would be awesome in his rookie year – but I bet he is better in coverage and has as good or better “anticipation” and correct first step towards the play than White right out the gate….

    If Dennis can also blitz well (which he showed in College) – that is really the only thing that Devin White excels at. So what would be the point in keeping White around for 1 more year at 10X the cost if Dennis shows he has the smarts and ability to step in as a rookie and play the position at 85% of White’s current capability?

  32. garro Says:

    All this has got me thinking.
    Isn’t the reason for having an agent to negotiate on the players behalf?
    So the player can concentrate on the training and playing?
    Just saying…

    Go Bucs!

  33. Ed Says:

    If he can get 12-15 sacks next year he’ll be able to command a high salary.

    5-7 sacks from him isn’t going to get him the money he wants.

    He isn’t great against the run and he isn’t much of a pass defender.

    He is one dimensional as a pass rusher so put up the sack numbers or just go somewhere else that makes him a full time pass rushing specialist.

  34. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Some of y’all are crazy for wanting DW45 gone. A small portion of me too wants him gone but we have to be realistic. If we send him packing then who plays for him ? Dennis ? Our 5th rd pick. Let’s gets seriously while Dennis may be the real deal let’s not bank on it and then we don’t have depth. I also get DW45 is a liability in coverage but he’s a great blitzer and he can be a monster in the run game when his head is on straight. If we want to take the division this year we serve a better chance with DW45 manning the middle of the D. personally I’d rather him put it all together this year and be what we know he can be like he did in 2020. Like joe said he has all the tools and talent in the game to be up there with ray ray brooks urlacker and the other great LBs. Just has to get rid of that jaymis Winston brain lol

  35. Joshua porter Says:

    Love how white is acting like he can’t be franchise tag the next 2 years if bucs want too. Sure he can show his ass if he wants to but according to all the media people bucs are going to suck for the next couple of years anyways.