In a stunning move, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bringing back Jamel Dean after it looked like he was a goner in free agency.
Just when it looked like Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans were going to have to live a dark NFL Free Agency period, the front office ripped the curtains down and let the light shine in.
In a move that almost nobody saw coming, the Bucs are bringing back cornerback Jamel Dean.
The Bucs entered the offseason with the cloud of needing to shed over $50 million in salary cap hanging over their heads. It was something casting a shadow over everything, as the bill for the Tom Brady years had finally come due and tough decisions needed to be made all around.
One of those decisions almost certainly seemed to be Dean leaving in free agency. He was a projected to be a top cornerback on the market and be in for a payday he rightfully deserved. Such things, when combined with the Bucs prickly salary cap predicament, seemed to indicate the end of the road had been reached and the two parties would be going their separate ways.
Leave it to Jason Licht to pull off a miracle.
”This was somewhat that certainly was not considered to be likely just a couple of days ago, but considering the pull of this Bucs organization and considering this is where Jamel Dean wanted to be, it was all about finding the right price,” Ian Rapoport said while breaking the news on NFL Network.
It’s a huge move that soldiers a major piece of the Bucs defense, and is a move that shows Tampa Bay isn’t giving up building something special just because the Brady Era is over.
Buccaneers News: Jamel Dean contract details
After the shock of the Bucs bringing back Dean wears off, the first question is how much it the move will end up costing the team. So much was made about how little cash Tampa Bay had to play with this offseason, so the idea of them bringing back Dean — who was in for a major payday — is hard to compute.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deal is four-years, $52 million. Dean’s deal also includes $26 million guaranteed, and he reportedly turned down more money with other teams to come back to Tampa Bay.
It’s hard to overstate how much of a total surprise this move is. Everything pointed toward Dean leaving the Bucs, and just earlier in the day it appeared fans were going to have to make peace with a split.
How the tides so quickly turned.
What’s notable is that Rapoport mentioned Tampa Bay is where Dean wanted to be. That’s huge, because it punctures the notion that without Tom Brady the Bucs are not a destination that players want to go to.
Granted, Dean has spent his entire career here, but he could have easily gone somewhere else for more money and perhaps a better immediate chance at another Super Bowl.
Instead, he decided to stay with the Bucs on a relatively good deal for the team. Such a thing begs the question of whether or not Tampa Bay will be able to do a similar thing and bring back guys like Lavonte David to keep the defense as whole — and menacing — as it has been over the last few years.