One of the more notable threads that remains open this offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is what the future holds for Devin White.
Back in April, the Pro Bowler reportedly requested a trade after contract extension talks broke down with the front office. It’s still a bit of a murky situation but it seems clear that White either wants to get paid top dollar by the Bucs or wants to go to a team that will.
For their part, the Bucs front office seems to be dug in and isn’t entertaining either the idea of meeting White’s price or his trad demand. Instead the team is focused on competing for a Super Bowl next year, something that would require White to return to top form and remain on the team.
Not for nothing, but if the Bucs compete for a title this year with White helping lead the charge, such a thing seems to be mu ally beneficial in terms of everyone getting what they want. The Bucs will be contenders while White will have awesome amounts of leverage to get paid every cent he feels he’s owed.
We’re not in that position now, though. All we know now is that White wants a deal in the neighborhood of $100 million (what Roqoun Smith got from the Ravens) and the Bucs aren’t willing to pay it. That connundrum makes it easy to start connecting White to other teams around the league.
Devin White trade rumors: ESPN names potential destination
In a piece breaking down the best fits for some of the top players on the market, ESPN’s Matt Bowen tosses out the Tennessee Titans as a potential trade destination for Devin White.
"Paired with free agent addition Azeez Al-Shaair, the Titans would have two stack linebackers with the traits to track the ball in the run game, pressure and roam the second level in passing situations.- ESPN
The Titans have some salary cap issues -- White would want a new contract from the team that trades for him -- but they could figure out a way to give him a deal."
To be clear, Bowen isn’t suggesting that there have been talks nor is he reporting that he’s hearing a trade is in the works. Rather, this is a Bill Barnwellian sort of hypothetical based on reading the lay of the land across the league.
Speaking of Barnwell, he believes that the Bucs and White will eventually work out a deal that keep the linebacker in Tampa Bay for the next portion of his career rather than playing it somewhere else.
As much as White has irked some of the fan base in Tampa Bay, it doesn’t make any sense for the Bucs to trade him too early. Trading White goes against every instinct the team has to be competitive this upcoming season. Whether that’s a misguided goal is beside the point; trading a potential All-Pro player at an important position is not a winning strategy. That’s perhaps the biggest road block standing in the way of the Bucs moving White before the season starts.
We might be circling back to this mid season, however. If the Bucs aren’t in a position to compete the way they think they will be, trading White at the deadline might become a conversation worth having. That’s assuming both sides won’t find a way to work out a deal, though, which still seems like the best-case scenario.