Jason Licht indicates re-signing Devin White is not a priority for Buccaneers

It doesn't sound like the Bucs are going to bend over backward to bring Devin White back.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

Among the pending free agents that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to take care of before the league year starts, things have been mum regarding former Pro Bowler Devin White.

In fact, things have been almost prophetically quiet as White has remained outside of the main conversation around the team and its offseason plans. To be fair, re-signing Antoine Winfield Jr., Baker Mayfield, and Mike Evans is far and away more critical to the team's success, but the fact that White has become almost an afterthought is incredibly telling.

Buccaneers brass headed up to Indianapolis this week to attend the NFL Combine, but have spent a fair amount of time answering questions about the future. Jason Licht has been vocal about wanting to get something done with Baker and Evans but didn't mention White until he was prompted to.

Jason Licht comments on Devin White's contract ahead of free agency

The Bucs GM was asked whether or not the team has engaged White in contract talks ahead of free agency, and his answer was not exactly a glowing endorsement.

"We're still trying to make a decision on some other players," Licht said. "Devin did some really good things for us throughout his career, but we're still sorting through some things."

Yikes. That's how you tell a guy he's not a priority without explicitly saying so.

White set forth a chain of events last offseason that might have led us to this moment and sealed his fate. He requested a trade back in April after contract extension talks stalled, and while he eventually walked it back the damage had been done.

He didn't help himself much by turning in a substandard season. White showed flashes of the guy who was a Pro Bowler on a Super Bowl-winning defense, but not consistently enough to keep his job. He was a surprise inactive ahead of Week 15's game against the Packers and was merely a rotational player after he returned.

White pushed his chips to the center and demanded top dollar for his position, and ended up losing his starting role to K.J. Britt before the season was over. There were also reports of White's attitude rubbing players and coaches the wrong way during the team's 1-6 midseason skid, something else that doesn't help his case.

All of that is the context gently humming around Licht's quote about White's future. There's a chance he's back, but it seems almost certain that he'll hit free agency and that his days in pewter might be over.

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