The PFF Tribe Predicts…

February 5th, 2024

The tribe weighs in.

Those noted football savants and their GD grades have an idea what Bucs safety Antoine Winfield is going to earn next season.

Winfield is thought to be one of the better players on the market, if the Bucs let him hit free agency when the dinner bell rings.

That’s not going to happen, per the PFF tribe’s algorithm. It (they) is convinced Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht will slap Winfield with the franchise tag, keeping him in Tampa Bay for at least one more season, or at least buy Licht more negotiating time.

Franchise tag. Winfield can line up in the box, take on receivers in the slot and play as a roaming deep-third free safety, finding success in single-high and two-high coverage shells. The former second-round pick is a difference-maker on the backend, and his remarkable versatility carries value at a position that appreciates it more than perhaps any other.

Winfield is ranked by the Tribe as the No. 8 most valuable free agent.

Joe thinks Winfield will be back solely because the Bucs had the No. 26 pass defense in the league last year through the regular season. Unless the Bucs plan to overhaul the secondary, losing Winfield would be devastating.

Now Joe has to be fair here too. So Joe asks, was the pass defense horrid because Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean played so badly, or was it that the Bucs got virtually no consistent edge rush on opposing quarterbacks all season long?

25 Responses to “The PFF Tribe Predicts…”

  1. Dave Pear Says:

    No pass rush and a guy named Todd and his genius zone bust schemes.

  2. SlyPirate Says:

    Franchise Tag is $14.

    Derwin James: $19 million
    Minkah Fitzpatrick: $18.2 million
    Jamal Adams: $17.5 million

    I see AW getting $18Mx4 ($72M)

  3. Tye Says:

    ‘the pass defense horrid’ mainly because their DC is losing his touch!

  4. Buccaneer rick Says:

    No way we let him go I got a feeling everyone we want will be back Jason Licht is good with ish like that

  5. Tony marks Says:

    “So Joe asks, was the pass defense horrid because Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean played so badly, or was it that the Bucs got virtually no edge rush ”

    Answer: because Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean played so badly

    That secondary better be overhauled

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Tye … ‘‘the pass defense horrid’ mainly because their DC is losing his touch!’

    And yet Bowles’ horrid defense allowed the FEWEST POINTS PER GAME of any Bucs’ team since 2007 when Monte Kiffin was our DC. This defense was incredibly frustrating to watch, and YET it allowed the fewest (1) games in which opponents scored over 30 points of any of the 16 NFC teams. That’s pretty good consistency in term of the bottom line for any defense … POINTS ALLOWED.

    But hey, keep shouting from the rooftops how much Bowles’ defense sucks Tye. Shout it loud enough and long enough, and enough folks will believe you to turn it into the truth. At least for you and them.

  7. QBKilla Says:

    Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean have Super Bowl rings. Isn’t that proof that they can do the job with a decent pass rush?

  8. stpetebucfan Says:

    “because Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean played so badly, or was it that the Bucs got virtually no consistent edge rush on opposing quarterbacks all season long?”

    I say BOTH! Build the trenches! Draft a great center and another edge rusher.
    And then pick up some more CB’s whether is FA’s like SMB or some well positioned CB picks in the mid to later rounds.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … I don’t think it’s so much that Davis & Dean played poorly as much as that (1) their availability sucks (25 games between them), (2) they both played hurt quite a bit it appears; and (3) they were pretty much doing what they were asked to do (a bunch of zone).

    They’re both good CBs (albeit very expensive for their availability) but they do need a pass rush to ‘play THEIR game’. Ya Ya’s on the rise, but Shaq, Nelson & JTS are aren’t getting it done. Can’t get rid of Shaq (cost prohibitive) so use him as a rotational player in select packages. Sign a quality veteran OLB/DE (like Brian Burns for $21.7 Market Value, although lots of other quality vets are FAs this year).

  10. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Defense rules pretty much hit the nail on the head with that analysis of the Bucs secondary this year. Whoever had those guys playing 15 yards off the line of scrimmage on third and six was a bit perplexing to me, but what do I know. It was like back in the lovey smith days when the Bucs goal line defense consisted of 3 down linemen, and 8 standing in the endzone. The optics made no sense, and there was nary a goal stand either.

  11. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Pass rusher should be top priority, right behind OL.

  12. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Football is an aggressive sport. Especially on good defenses so I do like coach Bowles blitzing a lot, because it leads to quarterbacks laying on their back, and forcing the issue…

  13. Beeej Says:

    Davis and Dean are effective when they’re playing MAN. We played a lot of zone last year, for whatever reason (my understanding is that Neal can’t play man, which can’t be blamed on Bowles)

  14. Since76 Says:

    The defense gave up yards but got it done where it counts. Points allowed. Just like offensive yards per game doesn’t matter much if you can’t score. Defense giving up points wasn’t a problem this season.

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Our defense is weird lol. Like if Davis/Dean/Zyon are all healthy and playing well and there is a pass rush we look like the #1 defense in the NFL.

    Then if the pass rush isn’t there or one CB is banged up we give up like 350+ passing yards to any QB playing us. I think 3 things

    1) Bowles needs to figure out ways to adjust when the pass rush / blitzes aren’t working and we’re getting shredded.

    2) We need a better pass rush period

    3) We need secondary depth

  16. stpetebucfan Says:


    I largely agree that Dean and Davis have talent…but lack the ability to stay healthy. Dean has a history dating back to college days at Ohio State which is why he ended up at Auburn, and sadly that has continued with the Bucs.

    I think what might be debatable is just HOW much talent they have. Are they really worth all that cap space. I no longer look at $$$ it’s all like monopoly money anyway. You have trained me well. I simply view them as what % of the cap do they eat. Even healthy I’m not sure these guys are worth that %. They drop a lot of possible ints, especially Dean. Too bad they outlawed “stickem” eh?

    I hope the Bucs use the first two rounds on BPA interior OL and BPA edge rush.
    After that fill the spots as needed with BPA’s.

    I also think there may be FA’s out there for the Defensive Backfield. Isn’t SMB an FA this year?

  17. stpetebucfan Says:

    BTW I’m not worried about Baker, Mike or both leaving. Que Sera..Sera.

    I’d rather have them of course but IF they leave I still draft BPA at G/Center and Edge rusher. Depending on ME might need to start looking for a WR after that.

    This year’s draft is deep in WR’s as well as QB’s. So if Baker goes…take the best QB available round 3 or later. I honestly do not know about Trask. But he has one more cheap year and if the Bucs need to roll with him I’m OK.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … Sounds like you’re playing the ‘I’ll see it when I see it’ game like I am. I don’t even bother guessing anymore. If Baker & Mike want to follow the money, they’ll find greener pastures elsewhere I’m convinced.

    BTW, JL has more limited ‘salary CAP flexibility’ this year than he’s had in the past several years. Bucs have only 7 players on our current roster making over $10 mil, and for the most part those are the only contracts worth restructuring to create space. Also means though that you’re committing to that player for XXX number of additional years when you do restructure (like in Shaq’s 2 restructurings in the past 2 years). Then we’re stuck with them (ie, we just made them a key player).

    Those 7 are: (1) Godwin ($27.5 mil CAP Hit); (2) Vea ($21.0 mil CAP Hit); (3) Davis ($20.4 mil CAP Hit); (4) Wirfs ($18.6 mil CAP Hit); (5) Dean ($14.7 mil CAP Hit); (6) Shaq ($14.2 mil CAP Hit); and (7) Gage ($13.4 mil CAP Hit). That totals up to $129.8 mil in CAP Hits for just 7 players. Add to that the $21.7 mil in salary CAP Hits for VOID YEARS that we owe to 6 other players who are FAs & NOT on our roster (Evans, LVD, Mayfield, Gaines, Winfield, Feiler) and you get a whopping $151.5 mil CAP Hit for 2024.

    Wow, that’s a big chunk of change for just 7 players when our Adjusted Salary CAP is only $246.3 mil this year (like over 60%). JL’s gonna have to dig deep to pull those rabbits out of the hat this year. Actually this year he’ll probably be forced to use wild hares instead of furry white rabbits (I hear they’re a lot cheaper and they multiply like … aahh, never mind).

  19. geno711 Says:

    Looking at the comparative stats matter. Joe, I think you linked the post season only. They were 7th out of 14 post season.

    Regular season is actually a little worse.

    There are really a lot more stats to look at. I would look at points against as the most key stat. Then turnovers. The points scored by defense.

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    I agree on Dean and Davis. Too injury prone.

    Plus – they both allowed @ 70% catch rate and neither of them can catch worth a dam. How many potential INTs hit these guys in the hands and they couldn’t make the catch?

    The Bucs are kind of stuck with these guys. We can’t afford to upgrade our entire defensive backfield. Cutting Davis would save some cap dollars but then we need a new CB and the good ones don’t come cheap.

  21. JimBobBuc Says:

    Our #26 pick will be interesting, as most mocks show some good Edge and Safeties being available. We obviously need the pass rush, but I don’t see a good safety on the roster to replace Neil. Zyon is too poor a tackler for safety.

    It would be nice adding a good safety to work with Winfield, but I think we will go with an Edge at #26

  22. Let em bake Says:

    “Todd, what happened on that play?” “It was a busted “.. let that response be stricken from next years pressers.

  23. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Jimbo

    “Zyon is too poor a tackler for safety.”

    Julio Jones would probably disagree with you… lol.

  24. Cobraboy Says:

    Bucs Dbackfield plays better man than zone. It seems like whenever they go to that soft zone, they can’t stop anybody.

    Of course, no Dbackfield is s#!t without a consistent pass rush.

  25. BucaneroJim Says:

    For me, Antoine is the first on the franchise tag list (if needed). He is that kind of super rare player. His stats for 2023 are more impressive than John Lynch in 2002. That’s saying a lot!