Sean Murphy-Bunting is reaching a pivotal year with the Buccaneers. He will need it to be a great one if he wants to keep his current role.
Sean Murphy-Bunting has begun to emerge as a bit of a polarizing player for the Buccaneers. He is one of the easiest players to root for on the team with his infectious smile and personality, but his play on the field can shift between the extremes.
The young corner has a way of showing up on the stat sheet in a major way, but there are some plays where he gets beat that cause some people to wonder what he is going to command on the market when he becomes a free agent.
This matter is only further complicated when you look at Carlton Davis’ new deal and the fact that Jamel Dean is an obvious candidate for an extension sooner than later too.
As it stands, the Bucs are going to be hard-pressed to meet the market asking price for all three of their corners. This all means that tough moves will be made if the Buccaneers don’t see something that takes the choice out of their own hands.
Murphy-Bunting is going to have to be dominant this season if he wants to keep his current role as the third corner. Davis and Dean appear to have the outside locked down for a long time to come at their current rates. SMB is where the question marks start.
This is not an indictment on Murphy-Bunting’s overall play. It has exponentially more to do with what the Bucs already have invested in the position and how difficult it will be to justify spending even more down the road.
Of the three starting corners, SMB is currently the most replaceable (Logan Ryan should get reps at this role in 2022) and will need to ball out this season to show that he matters for the long-term status of this team.
One way or another, the Buccaneers should appreciate having three quality corners to rely on in 2022, but changes are going to be on the horizon if things continue at their current rate.
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