5 realistic free agents Buccaneers could sign in 2024

Tampa Bay can improve the roster without breaking the bank this offseason.
Buffalo Bills v New York Jets
Buffalo Bills v New York Jets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Jordan Whitehead, S

Not every potential free agent that makes sense for the Bucs is someone who will be making the trip down to Tampa Bay for the first time. Jordan Whitehead spent his formative years with the team and could return after having one of the best seasons of his career up in New York.

Whitehead finished with career highs in almost every major defensive category, although it’s hard to say that he did this season topped winning a Super Bowl. Everything he learned while in Todd Bowles defense got leveled up once Robert Saleh got his hands on Whitehead, and it’s a testament to his talent alone that the defensive guru wanted him in his secondary.

Back in Week 1 when the Jets lost Aaron Rodgers to a season-ending injury, it was Whitehead who single-handily brought the team back. He had three interceptions off Josh Allen, and helped propel New York not only to an upset win but a season where its defense was the reason the team managed to win seven games.

Whitehead was a valuable depth piece for the Bucs but he could return a starter. Ryan Neal is likely gone and Tampa Bay is dealing with a serious lack of safety depth. Antoine Winfield Jr is expected to get a fat long term deal but that leaves only Christian Izien as the other reliable guy in the room. Brining back Whitehead give him a familiar system to settle back into but do so bringing what he learned from Saleh and helping Bowles defense get even better.

New York could try to bring Whitehead back, but if the Jets let him slip away then Tampa Bay should be all over him.