Jason Licht gives an update on Antoine Winfield Jr. contract talks

Things have stalled out over the last few months, so where exactly do things stand with the Bucs and Antoine Winfield Jr.?
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

For as much good as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did this offseason, its biggest dangling loose thread is also perhaps the most important.

Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans were brought back before free agency opened but someone who didn’t get a deal was Antoine Winfield Jr., who was franchise tagged instead. The idea seemed to be that the Bucs was Ted to buy some time to work out a long term deal, but so far nothing has happened.

It seems like forever ago that we last got an update on Winfield, but Jason Licht ended that silence while making an appearance on the Pat McAfee showt his week. Among the many topics he touched on, McAfee pushed Licht about when fans can stop asking for Winfield’s new deal.

Jason Licht gives big update on Antoine Winfield Jr. contract talks

Light didn’t pull any punches when talking about Winfield’s contract situation with Pat McAfee, noting that talks aren’t close to being done but the Bucs want to do right by their best player.

”Right now crossing our fingers. I think there’s been some positive movement, but I don’t know when [a deal] is going to come,” Licht said. “It takes two sides and they’re totally being fair and we think we’re being fair. He to be here and we want him, those types of things usually work out. I’m fairly positive about where things are going with that.”

That might seems little too corporate for where fans want the relationship to be, but Licht cleared the air on that real quick with the praise he heaped on Winfield.

“He’s someone who could be mentioned as Hall of Fame worthy, and I’m not afraid to admit that. I don’t think it’s going to hurt negotiations,” Licht said. “I’ve been very upfront with them the whole time. He’s the bes safety in the league and should be paid like it.”

That’s been the refrain Tampa Bay has been repeating this whole time, and it goes beyond Winfield.

Licht was upfront and honest about wanting to pay Baker Mayfield what he was owed, which might have meant talking himself out of a lower deal with is quarterback. The same thing happened with Mike Evans and now it seems the team wants to do right by another superstar.

Winfield getting something done with the Bucs seems inevitable, and the reason has more to do than the money he’ll get to reset the market. It’s a level of mutual respect he has for everyone in Tampa Bay.

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