Buccaneers are making a huge mistake with critical defender

Carlton Davis, William Gholston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Carlton Davis, William Gholston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers can’t afford to lose their CB1 to free agency.

The modern NFL values four positions above all others for team success; quarterback, offensive tackle, corner, and pass rusher. A team that has all four of these, like the Buccaneers in 2020 and part of 2021, is always in contention for the Super Bowl.

We all saw how much the defense struggled last season when it lost Carlton Davis. Is this really something the team wants to deal with over the course of a full season?

Based on what we have seen so far in free agency, the Bucs are at least considering the costly gamble.

Even if the Bucs like what they have seen from Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, we don’t see Davis reaching free agency as a good idea.

It currently looks like the Buccaneers are going to have to use the franchise tag on receiver Chris Godwin to give themselves time to work out a long-term deal. This would take any safety out of the equation in finding something similar for Davis, making the odds of his departure even greater.

Based on Davis’ track record and what he has shown, that would likely lead to his departure in a market that is more than willing to overpay for a CB1.

Tampa is gambling that they can keep Davis locked down in a different deal, but let’s be real about his value for a moment.

Carlton Davis has been solidifying himself as one of the best corners in the NFL for three years now.

During this time, Davis has accounted for six interceptions and 48 passes defended. While 2021 was marred by an injury during the middle of the season, Davis still finished the season with an average passer rating allowed of 83.2. These numbers become even more impressive when you look at who they came against.

Davis has faced some of the best receivers in the NFL and come out on top. Corner is the hardest position in sports, and while Davis does have his down moments, he has proven that the ceiling is amongst the highest of anyone at the position.

Does this really sound like a guy that the market will underpay? The simple answer is absolutely not.

Letting Carlton Davis walk to retain the second receiver is a dangerous game. Not that the Bucs would move on from Godwin anyway, but receiver will always be easier to replace than corner.

A perfect world would have the Bucs keeping both of their star players, but it looks like we may have to see an already-difficult offseason get even harder if Carlton Davis does reach free agency.

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