There are serious questions about what the future holds for Devin White in Tampa Bay. He requested a trade, but it looks like he’s going to have to either sit the season out or play his final year under contract with the Bucs.
After that White is likely gone, signing with a team that will give him the $100 million contract he’s earned.
Tampa Bay might still give it to him, but with extensions due for Tristan Wirfs and Antoine Winfield, it would seem that White figures to be the odd man out.
The Bucs don’t need to rush to replace him, but Daiyan Henley could help ease the pain of losing White. It sounds like he’d be best suited as a coverage linebacker, which adds some dynamic to the Bucs secondary even if he’s not a clean 1-to-1 replacement for White if he departs.
What would make more sense for the Bucs to target in terms of bolstering the secondary is looking for a safety. After Brian Branch there’s a bit of a gap between him and the next-best guy at the position.
Sydney Brown is an option, but Branch’s running mate at Alabama figures to be a better one. Branch was more of a cornerback with the Tide where Battle is a true safety and someone who the Bucs can add as a third man in its three-headed safety monster.
Only Ryan Neal and Antoine Winfield occupy space on the depth chart at safety, and adding Battle gives Todd Bowles an interesting rotational piece to develop into a potential starter if either Neal or Winfield ends up leaving.
Ideally Winfield is extended and Battle is brought in to form a tandem with him that will be able to hold down offenses elsewhere in the NFC South that are quickly getting better.