Buccaneers need to pay their next star before it’s too late

The “wait and see” approach won’t work too well for the Buccaneers with Carlton Davis.

We’ve all seen it for years now, but Carlton Davis is starting to emerge as one of the best corners in the NFL. During a time where the Buccaneers needed help at the position the most, Davis stepped into the role as a confident CB1, and Tampa has been fortunate to have such a star playing on a rookie deal.

Davis often matches up against the best wide receiver on opposing teams week in and week out, and while there have been some moments of struggle, Davis continually proves that he has a large contract coming his way.

The games against Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs are the fluke, not the norm. When the game plan is right for Davis, he shines.

After an offseason characterized by keeping the whole team together after winning the Super Bowl, Davis was not the priority. Keeping players like Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin in Tampa was the main goal, but there were some people wondering if Davis would also get an extension.

Davis and the Bucs didn’t accomplish this next step, and it could cause issues on the franchise side of things if Tampa drags their feet too much.

The cornerback market isn’t getting more affordable, and Davis is playing at a rate that will have him paid amongst the best players in the league at this rate.

With 37 passes defended and five interceptions over his past two seasons, Davis has a way of always being where the ball is, and those stats will play a substantial role in the upcoming contract proceedings.

No one can fully fault the Bucs for waiting. You don’t want to throw too much money at a corner before you know what they can do at the next level, but Davis has shown this and then some.

In his first game of the 2021 season against a great offense that threw the ball at an extremely high rate, Davis only allowed four completions on ten targets for 43 yards and a passer rating of 13.7. David also had three passes defended and an interception, so the stats that support his re-signing are becoming even harder to overlook.

The Buccaneers would be crazy at this point to let Davis walk, but he also isn’t going to stay in Tampa on a cheap deal if 2021 goes the same way as 2020 and 2019. A top-tier corner is never cheap, and Carlton Davis will only get more expensive as the Bucs drag their feet.

Signing Davis sooner than later should save the Buccaneers some money that they can spend on other key names, and waiting could cause other talented players to slip through the cracks.

Pay the man, and soon.

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