Sean Murphy-Bunting Says He Left Bucs For “Clean Slate And Clean Opportunity”

June 27th, 2023

A Bucs Super Bowl-run hero three seasons ago, Sean Murphy-Bunting left the club in March at 25 years old for the Tennessee Titans.

Today, he talked on SiriusXM NFL Radio about why he was eager to leave the Buccaneers.

“I wanted to go somwhere where I could play outside corner,” Murphy-Bunting said. “Obviously, I played inside and outside in my career in Tampa, and I was doing, you know, what the team needed and what was best for what we needed as a team. But now I’m at a point where I kind of wanted to play outside and kind of make my name on the outside, and that’s what I feel like I’ve been best at my entire career.”

Murphy-Bunting went on to say he’s comfortable being versatile but wanted a clear path to win a starting outside cornerback job.

“I just wanted the clean slate and clean opportunity of being able to, you know, be the corner first,” he said.

Did the Bucs want Murphy-Bunting back? They did and they didn’t, Murphy-Bunting explained.

It seems the Bucs didn’t show him the money, but did respect his desire to be a starting outside cornerback.

Obviously, with Carlton Davis on the roster and the Bucs dropping a massive contract on Jamel Dean in March, that wasn’t going to happen.

Murphy-Bunting said Todd Bowles and cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross were “very vocal”  about wanting him to stay with Tampa Bay. He said he left his agent to talk to general manager Jason Licht and spoke little to him directly.

As fans may remember, Joe talked to Bowles about Murphy-Bunting in a 1-on-1 sitdown three months ago. There, Bowles talked about wanting but losing his 2019 second-round draft pick, and not being quite sure what happened.

Joe supposes the moral of the story is, when your team goes on a historic run drafting and developing quality defensive backs, some will leave for more cash and opportunity.

25 Responses to “Sean Murphy-Bunting Says He Left Bucs For “Clean Slate And Clean Opportunity””

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Wish him the best. He won a ring and had a game changing play vs ARod

  2. BillyBucco Says:

    Seems like the competition for corner hurt him as the loser.
    He got his chance and actually started there, but Dean played better.
    I wish him the best also but am glad we have Dean instead.

  3. Dooley Says:

    Wish SMB the best, really like him as a player especially having the versality as an athlete to play outside and nickel which is difficult to do either making it hard as hell to be serviceable enough to do both.

  4. Marine Buc Says:

    When the off season began and the Buc’s salary cap was a total mess I really didn’t believe they would be able to keep LVD, Dean and Nelson.

    I thought SMB was going to be our CB2 and both LVD and Nelson would be replaced with draft picks.

    I am impressed with our GM’s ability to not only re-sign the core young players of this defense but also add G. Gains and R. Neal.

    Then we added Clancey, Diaby, Dennis, Hayes and Ramirez via the draft…


  5. Fred McNeil Says:

    Like I said a few minutes ago: ya can’t pay everybody $20 mil.
    Or in this case $12 or $13 mil. Ya have 53 players. Ten times $10 mil is $515 mil. We started off -$55 mil. This bodes poorly for DW45 too.

  6. Tony Says:

    Antonio Brown & Tyreek Hill plan on opening up a domestic violence shelter for all. Updates still coming.

  7. destinjohnny Says:

    Had talent, flashed in spurts.
    I think he got fat after the bucs won a super bowl.
    I dont think he had the eye of the tiger

  8. HC Grover Says:

    He escaped The Bowles Curse

  9. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Another lesson may be to draft guys who will play the position they want. Had his career goal been to be an inside corner like he was being played, he probably would still be here.

    To me that’s a failure from a GM standpoint. And there is a list of guys on the O-line who fit in that category too, where they drafted a tackle to play guard, a guard to play tackle, or a right tackle to play left tackle.

  10. unbelievable Says:

    lol Tony

    @HC Grover – is Bowles not the one who coached up SMB these past 4 years, and helped him get that sweet FA money?

    I have plenty of issues with Bowles, but I highly doubt SMB has anything but love and respect for him.

  11. Lt. Dan Says:

    Off topic. thank you Joe’s for providing content….any Bucs content during the “doldrums” of this part of the NFL season is much appreciated. No sarcasm here. I truly appreciate any news and tidbits I can get this time of year. Props dudes.
    Joe loves all things Bucs. No offseason in reality and in mindset. You’re welcome. –Joe

  12. SlyPirate Says:


    They drafted three corners and developed them all into solid pros. Hopefully Zyon becomes the next success story.

  13. Hodad Says:

    Bunt toast.

  14. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Code word, for more money?

  15. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    SMB said some words. It has to be true, lol

  16. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    It’s hard to know which Bucs players were the Swiss cheese components in the secondary debacle against the cowboys in last years playoffs. Where as the self anointed football great, Steve smith would say; ‘The Bucs got ran’.
    But I suppose we’re fixin to find out….
    I hope we kept the good ones…
    Because if the Bucs didn’t, this team threw away a whole lot of money on the wrong guys!

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    SMB knew he would always be playing 3rd fiddle to Davis and Dean moving forward if he stayed. And rightfully so……

    Signed a 1 year $3.5M prove it deal with the Titans. Soooo…..

    Good Luck SMB.

  18. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    We saw him start outside against Dallas in the playoffs good luck

  19. jarrett Says:



  20. jarrett Says:



  21. westernbuc Says:

    He wanted starter money and starter playing time. Can’t say I blame him Licht didn’t see him the same way. Hope he shines in Tennessee. If he doesn’t, we’ll call it payback for Alteraun Verner

  22. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I think JL learned a lesson here.
    Don’t draft a cluster of a position in the early rounds. In retrospect he did pretty well, but you can’t pay everyone at the same time and SMB….. you flashed, but you got hurt a lot and just weren’t that consistent.
    Maybe you can shine with your new team.

  23. garro Says:

    Loved SMB and he was most definitely a valued member of the Bucs.
    He has his head on right and I’m sure will do well.
    I would welcome him back if the opportunity presents itself.
    Good luck SMB!
    Go Bucs!

  24. Seattle Buc is back in TB Says:

    Understand his rationale if he just wants to play outside. Good luck to him.

  25. BigMacAttack Says:

    SMB was not my favorite. He got better as time went on, but he was inconsistent. He can blame it on inside or outside but at the end of the day, it’s on you. Either defend it or get burned for the World to see. SMB got burned a lot. He was also fragile. The Bucs let the right one of the 3 walk.