Buccaneers players and fans react as Antoine Winfield Jr. deal makes NFL history

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Antoine Winfield Jr.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Antoine Winfield Jr. / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

And, relax. The move we were all waiting for has finally happened. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to a massive contract extension with All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield Jr., making him the highest-paid defensive back of all time.

It's a four-year extension worth $84.1 million, of which $45 million is fully guaranteed. The Bucs had to spend big to get the deal over the line, but Winfield Jr. is worth every penny.

Last season, he earned first-team All-Pro honors after making 12 pass defenses, three interceptions, six sacks, and six forced fumbles. There's nothing he can't do.

Winfield Jr. is one of the best defensive players at any position in the NFL, and the Buccaneers couldn't afford to lose him. They used the franchise tag to prevent Winfield from departing in free agency, but that was only step one. Working out a multi-year extension was the next priority, and general manager Jason Licht deserves credit for making it happen.

Understandably, Buccaneers fans are fired up.

Bucs fans are delighted as Antoine Winfield Jr. becomes highest-paid defensive back in history

What an offseason it has already been for the Buccaneers. They managed to bring back Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans, and Lavonte David, and now they've guaranteed Winfield Jr. will remain a key starter for at least four more seasons.

Several of Winfield's teammates posted about the new deal on social media, including Vita Vea, YaYa Diaby, and former Buccaneers linebacker Devin White.

Bucs fans took to X (formerly Twitter) to show their love for the move.

Everyone is quick to write off the Buccaneers this season, all because Kirk Cousins signed with the Atlanta Falcons. But is anyone paying attention to what Tampa Bay has accomplished this offseason? Licht has re-signed several important starters while adding even more talent in the NFL Draft. The Bucs should be considered the frontrunners to win a fourth consecutive NFC South title.

The big loser of the Winfield Jr. deal is Cousins. Not only have the Falcons already drafted his replacement, but he now has to worry about playing against the Bucs' defense twice a season for the foreseeable future.

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