Buccaneers franchise tag Antoine Winfield: 3 things that happen next

The work is only just getting started in Tampa Bay.

Super Bowl LV
Super Bowl LV / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

Focus will shift to getting a deal done with Baker Mayfield

Tampa Bay entered the offseason with three key players to re-sign, and the last loose thread is Baker Mayfield. Everything suggests a deal will get worked out, from the mutual respect between the two sides to Mike Evans agreeing to return (and tying future money to whoever the quarterback is).

While rumors have popped up suggesting Baker might leave to take a deal with Atlanta, Minnesota, or New England, it's all outside noise. The Bucs have built moves around the idea of bringing Baker back, from hiring an offensive coordinator specifically with him in mind to getting Evans' deal done first to further emphasize how great the situation in Tampa Bay is.

Baker has been the team's top priority all along, and the entire offseason so far seems to have been designed around bringing him back. With Winfield tag, the Bucs can essentially put a pin in contract talks with him and shift attention to getting something done with Baker before free agency opens.

Keep in mind that even if a deal isn't done before the legal tampering period starts on Monday, it doesn't mean Baker is going to leave. We all expected Evans to test the open market to establish a price for the Bucs to match and that could be what happens here.

Either way, Winfield getting tagged means Baker's contract moves onto the front burner.