Buccaneers’ Jersey Countdown: Number 82


We return to our countdown of the best Buccaneers’ players ever to wear the uniform.  Who was the best to ever wear number 82?

As the Buccaneers continue to prepare for the 2016 season, we return to our look back into history.  Over the past several weeks, we have been looking back at some of the best players ever to put on a Bucs’ jersey.  The franchise has a history of losing seasons, yet talented players.  Throughout the eras, there are players that were, and are, stars.

Who are the best?

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When we last left the countdown, we were talking about number 83Vincent Jackson was the choice there, and an obvious one.  The choice for number 82 became fairly clear, but he is one that didn’t leave the team on such great terms.

The choice is Kellen Winslow.

Winslow didn’t begin his career in Tampa, joining the NFL as the sixth overall pick in 2004 by the Cleveland Browns.  Between being a high draft pick and the son of a Hall of Fame tight end, a lot was expected.  After four productive but tumultuous seasons in Cleveland, he was traded to the Bucs prior to the 2009 season.  He signed a six-year, $36 million contract, and off they went.

In each of his three years in Tampa, Winslow led the team in receptions.  In 2009, he set team records for a tight end with 77 receptions and 884 yards.  He added five touchdowns in what became quite the productive first season with the Bucs.  He followed that up with 66 receptions, 730 yards and five touchdowns in 2010.  His final year yielded 75 receptions, 763 yards and two touchdowns.

For those not keeping track, that’s an average of 73 receptions, 792 yards and four touchdowns.  Now those aren’t the numbers that would cause him to join his father in the Hall of Fame, but they are consistent and they are solid.  To provide a reference of a similar type of player, Jason Witten has averaged 78 receptions per year over his career, and we all regard Jason Witten quite highly.

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It didn’t end great for Winslow here in Tampa.  Michael David Smith reported in Pro Football Talk back in May of 2012 that at the time, the Bucs informed Winslow that they no longer wanted him and were going to trade him.  Whether that was because of his knee problems or other reasons, that is how his time ended with the Bucs, but he is still the best ever to wear number 82.