Not Since Darrelle Revis

May 13th, 2024

A big money memory on this big-money day.

So it’s been 11 years since the Bucs handed out a contract like they did today that made a player the highest paid defensive back in NFL history.

That was given to Hall of Fame cornerback Darrelle Revis by former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik, who was replaced by current GM Jason Licht a year later. Revis roped in $16 million per season over six years. It was a prove-it contract on steroids, as Revis had no guaranteed money on the $96 million total deal.

A year later, Revis was with the Patriots having an All-Pro season and winning a Super Bowl because then-Bucs defensive guru head coach Lovie Smith and Licht didn’t think Revis could help the rebuilding Bucs enough to justify the salary. That’s a top-10 tale of The Lost Decade of Buccaneers football.

It comes to Joe’s mind today as the Bucs made All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield Jr. the highest paid safety — and defensive back — in the game with a four-year, $84 million contract.

Is it worth it? For a safety?

Joe isn’t complaining, though Joe respects the argument that $21 million for a safety is overpaying.

The Bucs don’t have a $20 million pass rusher to pay. And if YaYa Diaby maintains his play and rookie edge rusher Chris Braswell develops, Tampa Bay won’t have to cough up a fat pass rusher contract for at least a few years.

Winfield hit the perfect season at the perfect time to break the Team Glazer bank. And Joe is confident that no matter what happens this year, Licht won’t find a way to put Winfield in another uniform next season.

43 Responses to “Not Since Darrelle Revis”

  1. James West Says:

    Right on

  2. 2023 Surprised the Hell out of me Says:

    in retrospect that was a bad move….

  3. 2023 Surprised the Hell out of me Says:

    revis I am talking about…

    Love Winfield… he earns every penny he makes, the dude can flat out play ball.

  4. A Bucs Fan Says:

    AW31 deserved to be paid. He’s a great player who could be on a HOF path. I just don’t see the value at his position to be paid that much money. Can someone name the last time a safety led a defense to a Super Bowl?

  5. D-Rome Says:

    He’s a game wrecker and the best in the NFL. It’s good to see the Bucs set the bar for a player that is deserving.

  6. K2 Says:

    He is a game changer! One of the few Bucs that makes a difference…every game. Costly…but glad he’s back!

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    He deserves every penny of that Glazer loot.


  8. SB Says:

    Soon the NFL is going to REALLY raise the salary cap.

  9. SB~LV Says:

    When they have a stellar pass rusher he will get paid appropriately

  10. Booger Says:

    “A Bucs Fan” – What else are you going to do… Just let him WALK, then!? Yeah, I don’t think so. It’s only $45 Guaranteed. I’m more interested in how it breaks down on an annual basis, as far as, how much it costs each season with how it affects the cap. On top of that, his future trade value. You are absolutely, NOT losing him for NOTHING.

  11. Tucker Says:

    I love Antoine but that’s a lot of money to pay a safety but he effects games individually with his play definitely have to pay to keep that on your team.

  12. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Booger – I don’t disagree with you.

  13. Booger Says:

    Definitely, gonna dvr NFL Live today!!!! Surely, they’ll have something to say…

  14. Durango 95 Says:

    That hideous Revis era is long gone.

  15. Lowest Common Denominator Says:

    Winfield has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s the best safety in the league when healthy.

    He single handedly won at least 2 games for us last season against Minnesota and Atlanta, and he nearly did it twice against the falcons.

    I had a Desmond Ridder + Drake London stack on Draft kings that first game against Atlanta that I won $675 dollars with that first game we played against Atlanta. And AWJ stopped 3 touchdowns all by himself and forced multiple turnovers.

    I was a bit heated because if he hadn’t done that I more than likely would have won $10,000+ but I couldn’t deny how impressive it was.

    Glad we locked him up long term.

  16. Lars Tatersalad Says:

    It might be an overpay now, but will be a good value in a year or two.

  17. SB~LV Says:

    Imagine those rookies happy with their first contract looking at the balance online with their bank and then getting this reality check of what it’s really like hanging out in a NFL locker room with guys on their 2nd contracts.

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    The Revis trade and signing by Dummynik was a terrible decision.

    No other teams were in the running – yet somehow the Bucs gave up 1st and 3rd rd draft picks for an aging star fresh off a major knee injury and surgery…..

    Then – to top it off – paid said rehabbing CB $16M per year – basically double the going rate for high end CBs which was $7-9M per at the time.

    This franchise was a literal dumpster fire under Dom’s “guidance” – it took Licht almost 5 full years to dig us out of the personnel hole that Mark Dominik created.

  19. SB~LV Says:

    “5 full years “
    Of Jameis

  20. NCBuc Says:

    Off topic….. The Lions just gave Goff a 4 year 212 million dollar deal. Talk about strapping a team. I still wonder if the great McVay was completely wrong on that trade?

  21. JBBUCS_06 Says:

    Deserved. Keep AW31 home and worth the pay. Bucs don’t win the division w/o AW31, no playoffs and no wild card win. 4 straight playoff teams. AW31 on all.

  22. Mark A Swygert Says:

    This is ultimately worth it not only because Winfield is a great player, but also because it is a very public example of our GM and his team talking the talk and walking the walk. Players across the NFL landscape will look at the Bucs and see that if you ball out for Tampa, you will get paid. Expensive credibility yes, but very real credibility that enhances our franchise image. Thank God for Mike Greenberg. Let him work his magic. Wirfs is next, this off=season or next. His will probably be even bigger because of his position.

  23. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Imagine letting Winfield Jr go to another team in order to sign Hassan Reddick-
    Now that would be a lost decade move.

  24. Dave Pear Says:

    Dumfuknik the legendarily worst GM of all time. What an idiot. And traded for him when the Jets were gonna cut him. Brilliant.

  25. pancake block Says:

    up next; Tristan Wirfs

  26. unbelievable Says:

    Of all the absolutely braindead, dumb things that the pop star did as GM, trading away a 1st round pick to overpay Revis so he could rehab his knee for a year and then bolt to the Pats to win a SB ring, was perhaps the dumbest of them all!

    Thank god we have a real GM now.

  27. George R Says:

    Couldn’t the Bucs sign him for 19 million? I have to see the contract details. It was reported that Evans was going to make 25 million a year and it was 21 million.

  28. Baking with Evans Says:

    Wirfs is next!
    Get it done Licht!

  29. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    A Bucs Fan Says:
    May 13th, 2024 at 2:35 pm
    AW31 deserved to be paid. He’s a great player who could be on a HOF path. I just don’t see the value at his position to be paid that much money. Can someone name the last time a safety led a defense to a Super Bowl?
    John Lynch in part
    Hines Ward
    Ed Reed

  30. Bojim Says:


  31. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Plain in simple dude is a game changer. He won us a couple games last year. JL brought back whitehead to give him some help so he doesn’t have to be a Lone Ranger. Let’s goo Tampa.

  32. lambchop Says:

    Winfield Jr is a Safety and a Blitzing Nickel like Ronde. Guy is all over the field and I guarantee his play this season is going to be just as good or even better since we got Whitehead back. At least we can bring him down into the box with Whitehead and possibly Tykee Smith. There’s going to be so much creativity on the defensive side, I just hope we don’t do any zero blitzes in critical moments at the end of a game!! With the guys we have, I’m hoping we can compete in the middle and not give up that soft middle in zone.

    It always takes a special player and a team to move the needle on salary at a position like Safety. Winfield Jr just set a new market for special Safeties in the league. Good for him.

  33. A Bucs Fan Says:

    74 Bucs Fan – Exactly. Both Ed Reed and John Lynch would be expelled from the league within a year if they played with todays rules. Winfield is a complete modern football player but the safety position used to be feared and now they are paid not to hit too hard or hit at all. The position is devalued with current rules.

  34. westernbuc Says:

    Winfield is a pass rusher. He’s a true defensive weapon and worth every penny

  35. Larrd Says:

    He deserved that type of salary last season, for sure.

  36. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Oof…when mail room clerk turned GM DirtStar Dominik paid Revis 1 million a game to rehab ( while throwing in a top 12 pick for good measure )…an awful, ugly era of Buc Football.

    Paying a safety this much…granted Winfield has been absolute money…is a bit of a gamble. I suppose all long term, lucrative deals are.

  37. Oviedo Jim Says:

    Hines Ward was not a safety. John Lynch sure as hell was and deserves all of HOF accolades.

  38. Buclover1988 Says:

    How ignorant can you be Joe?

    Winfield is more than just a safety. He literally can do everything. He is worth every cent of this contract. Winfield is a Hof caliber player and instead of blowing 180 million on a position just because they are a QB, Im going to go ahead and pay 21 million to the elite do it all player who makes a massive on every down on defense. Would you rather new Orleans, Carolina, Atlanta, San Francisco, green bay, or even Dallas get him because that’s “a lot of money for a safety”?. Wrong. His “position” is safety, but he really is significantly and unquestionably much more than that. I thought you knew football?

  39. Natron Says:

    Love the photo! They look like 2 bandits who just made a big score, which they did!

  40. BucsFan81 Says:

    He is the best safety in the league and probably the best player on the team. The effort is always there dude brings it every game. Even with him paid I don’t see him letting up. I think he will only get better.

  41. Shane Callahan Says:

    Bucs thoughts… Glad Winfield got his deal because he is a difference maker. Glad that the Baker haters have mostly disappeared from this fansite. Excited about this draft. Hoping that deserved future HoFamer Mike Evans, Palmer, McMillan, Culp, and the rest of the receiving corps (not named Godwin) learn to catch a Mayfield fastball without dropping it at the most crucial times, hoping that the IOL is 100 times better, and I’m hoping the best RB emerges. Go Bucs! (Ps, Coen will be way better than Canales. No worries there. Our offense SHOULD be so good that they can take care of games during the defensive off games.)

  42. BillyBucco Says:

    We a pretty firm 2 year window here to compete for the SB. We shall see how it shakes out with the draft picks this year and next year.
    That’s the key when 3 of your high priced guys are signed in one year.
    You need a Braswell and Barton to play like 20 million dollar guys BEFORE they get paid that actual money. You can only afford 6 or so, but really need 8-10.
    Let’s see what happens.

  43. Dude Says:

    The worst deal in Bucs history by a country mile.