3 Buccaneers players who cannot afford to regress in 2023

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It's been an offseason full of questions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, not all of which have been answered.

The Bucs coaching staff believes the team can still be competitive this season, and the front office made moves this offseason that seem to agree with that sentiment. Such an edict presents an opportunity for players to step up and prove themselves worthy of being part of the team's future which is something that remains painfully uncertain.

We don't know what the Bucs will look like moving forward, or who will be part of the plan.

Certain guys have already proven to be an important part of the core. Vita Vea, Tristan Wirfs, and Antoine Winfield Jr all seem to be guys who will lead the next generation into the future. Others, however, are hanging on by fewer threads and need to avoid taking a step back this season unless they want to find themselves on the wrong side of some tough decisions down the road.

Devin White, LB

This one is rather obvious, but White quite literally cannot afford to regress this season because it's going to cost him money.

If you somehow haven't heard, White is entering the final year of his rookie contract and will be a free agent at the end of the season. How he performs this year is going to directly impact what his next contract looks like, and whether or not it matches where he believes it should be.

White requested a trade back in April after his demands weren't being met. Those demands are reportedly in the $100 million range, as White wants to be paid like a top linebacker in the league.

To be fair, White is a top linebacker when he's playing up to his level. The problem is he didn't do that last year, drawing the ire of fans and former players who openly questioned his work ethic and effort. White is a Pro Bowl caliber player, and was an important piece of the Buccaneers defense that won a Super Bowl just three seasons ago. If he can tap back into that, then White is going to get a monster contract next offseason.

However, if he plays like he did last year he's going to be in for a rude awakening when the offers start to roll in.