ESPN mentions Antoine Winfield Jr as potential trade candidate for Bucs

Excuse me, what?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

Today is the day as the NFL Trade Deadline arrives at 4pm ET and teams have until then to try and make some sort of a deal.

The internet also has until then to empty the tank on trade rumors and speculation, and things are about to get very crazy in that department. Last year's deadline was as wild as we've seen in recent years, with the action mirroring that which we see in MLB and NBA when those trade deadlines roll around.

Big names usually aren't on the move in the NFL, or at least that was the mantra before the last few seasons. Teams now seem willing to trade upper-echelon talent in ways they weren't before, and with that comes highetned speculation anout what teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might do.

Not only have the Bucs fallen from the ranks of teams that make sense as buyers at the deadline, but ESPN has gone as far as to suggest the team might consider selling off its very best talent to start a rebuild.

ESPN lists Antoine Winfield Jr as potential trade candidate

In a piece breaking down which teams should make a deal, ESPN's Bill Barnwell mentioned safety Antoine Winfield Jr as a potential name that could make sense for the Bucs to move if they get the right offer.

If general manager Jason Licht decides the Bucs should get younger, there are a few pending free agents who would have interesting trade markets. Wideout Mike Evans didn't come to terms with the team on a new deal and seems likely to leave in March. Linebacker Devin briefly requested a trade before the season and doesn't have a new contract. Linebacker Lavonte David and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. are both pending free agents after the season. The Bucs will bring back some of these guys, but if there's one or two Licht doesn't expect to have on the roster in 2024, it might make sense to trade them now," Barnwell wrote.

Nope. No. Nadda. Absolutely not.

To be fair, if the same boxes were checked on another player it would warrant the conversation Barnwell is having. Antoine Winfield Jr is not just another player, though, he's perhaps the best player at his position in the entire league.

We saw how Winfield can single-handedly alter the course of games in the past, from big plays in the Super Bowl to what he did against the Falcons a week ago. He's a guy the Bucs need to do everything to re-sign, not convince themselves that there's a trade offer worth giving him up over.

Tampa Bay is in need of a quarterback, and it's been abundantly clear over the years just how hard it is to find the right guy. The same can be said about a franchise safety, which Winfield is. A team doesn't just trade that guy and hope to find another one, and the Bucs moving Winfield would signal that not only is this a lost season but the next handful of ones likely are as well.

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