While the Buccaneers have fallen short of the preseason expectations for All-Pro considerations, Mike Edwards still has a chance to earn the honor.
Individual awards in the NFL should not be the end-all for a player. Everything stems from team success, and that comes first in Tampa Bay, but Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections are still something to celebrate.
While the Pro Bowl is a far more flawed system, both of these selections play a role in players’ future contracts and other considerations, so these are nothing to take lightly.
Many of the Buccaneers have fallen out of favor for the highest honor of All-Pro, but the Bucs do have a dark horse candidate for the defensive side of the ball. According to PFF.com, safety Mike Edwards was still in the race for one of the defensive flex spots before the Buccaneers entered their bye week.
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Mike Edwards comes as a slight surprise to Bucs fans. While his performances have been great this year, he has not yet started a game this season, and he has only played more than a third of the defensive snaps once this season.
Even without a large sample size, Edwards has been one of the most productive safeties by volume in the NFL as a consistent ballhawk when on the field.
It is entirely fitting that Edwards is starting to receive substantial consideration, but it is still confusing that he does not reach the field more than he does. Antoine Winfield Jr. and Jordan Whitehead are both talented safeties that also deserve playing time, but Todd Bowles needs to develop more ways to get Edwards on the field.
Why would the Buccaneers not try to feature one of their most efficient players in a more prominent role than he is now?
As it stands, Edwards probably has some ground to make up over the coming weeks after the bye, but any production in this non-existent role should see his chances increase before the end of the season.
Edwards will hopefully find a way to pull out this incredible honor during this unique season, but this will create some issues moving into next season as the Bucs try to iron out their starting lineup and future playing time.
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