Former Buccaneers player is glad Carlton Davis was traded to Lions

Not everyone is worried the Bucs gave up too soon on Carlton Davis III.
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

One of the first moves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made this offseason was trading away a starting player.

It was a bit surprising at the time, especially considering the overall theme of trying to retain as much top talent as possible. Carlton Davis III didn't fall into that category for the Bucs, though, and he was traded to the Detroit Lions for a third round pick.

Flipping Davis did three things: Tampa Bay cleared some cap space, landed another Top 100 draft pick this year, and freed up a spot on the depth chart for someone to potentially step up.

Who that ends up being is yet to be seen, but it was clear that the best decision for everyone was to get Davis a fresh start in Detroit as the team tries to reload key areas of Todd Bowles' defense. Pressure is now on Jamel Dean to start looking like the top cornerback the Bucs need him to be, and there's now room for Zyon McCollum and potentially a rookie to step into the spotlight and take a big step forward.

Jason Licht didn't make it sound like trading Davis was an easy decision, but not everyone associated with the Bucs was sorry to see him go.

Ex-Buccaneers player Ian Beckles isn't worried about defense after Carlton Davis III trade

On a recent episode if his podcast, Beckles went in on Davis, brushing off the idea that the Buccaneers might regret trading one of their starting cornerbacks.

“Carlton Davis wasn’t good last year,” Beckles said. “Carlton Davis was on the bad end of a lot of very big offensive plays. Were they better with Carlton Davis? I’m not sure. Because there were times last year when Carlton Davis was out and the Buccaneers played better defensively. They did. I saw it.”

It seems like harsh criticism but Beckles isn't wrong. At almost every turn, two guys were usually on the wrong side of a big offensive play and Davis was one of them. The other was usually Ryan Neal, which is not the company to keep when trying to talk about good defense, and Davis unfortunately is in that conversation.

He's missed 16 games over the last three years with various injuries, and missed some key moment last season as well. After getting cooked in a loss to the 49ers, Davis needed to leave the game with an injury, which wasn't the first time we'd seen that happen and it's been something that has held him back.

Davis shouldn't be remembered for the many screwups he was part of, rather he should be remembered as one of the original Grave Diggers who helped the Bucs win a Super Bowl in 2020. That's the lasting memory of his time in Tampa Bay, even if things went sideways after that, and his parting gift was a Top 100 draft pick the Bucs could use to help continue building a bright future.

Anyway you slice it, though, it seems like the trade needed to happen. Beckles' criticism is legit -- and shared by Bucs fans -- and Davis gets a fresh start. It's a potential win-win for everyone and gives us a chance to remember happier times.

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