When free agency opens in March, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have no shortage of tasks to take care of. At the top of the list is making sure Antoine Winfield Jr., Baker Mayfield, and Mike Evans don't get away but they aren't the only free agents the team will need to make a decision on.
Last year Devin White caused a stir when he requested a trade in April after not hearing the sort of numbers he wanted while negotiation a contract extension. He eventually rescinded that request and apologized, but the damage was done.
White didn't help his case by following up the offseason drama by turning in a less-than-stellar season. He showed some flashes of the guy who helped lead the defense to a Super Bowl in 2020, but he didn't do it consistently and ended up losing his starting job in December.
The writing was already on the wall for White, but as free agency rumors start to pick up it's sounding like his time in Tampa Bay is indeed over.
Devin White linked to NFC East contender in free agency
CBS Sports went through a handful of notable free agents and tried to connect each one to the most logical destination. Devin White made the list and unsurprisingly is not predicted to return to Tampa Bay.
Instead, White is being linked to the Dallas Cowboys
"Physically gifted but often debated for his inconsistent angles, should still have a sizable market because of his upside.is never shy about adding big names, and could hope for Danto to maximize his skills.- CBS Sports
Projected team: Cowboys"
It's an interesting fit, and one that could provide a golden opportunity for White to bounce back. He's not going to get the $100 million he desired from the Bucs last offseason, but he could get a nice three-year deal where he has a chance to prove himself and then cash in a few years down the road.
Dallas has prided itself on defensive prowess these last few years, and White slots in as a low-risk addition to the linebacking corps. The downside is that Dan Quinn, the arctitect of the brooding Cowboys defense, is gone. It's unclear who will replace him, but guys like Ron Rivera, Rex Ryan, and Mike Zimmer being mentioned as candidates bode well for White to be dropped into a high-upside situation.
There's also a chance he returns to Tampa Bay, albeit while having to swallow his pride. If he's going to get a starting role in Dallas than he's probably gone but he knows the Bucs defense and it might be the lowest lift way he can rebuild his reputation.
Not for nothing but Todd Bowles said he'd like to have White back, which says a lot about how he's viewed by the coaching staff.
If he leaves, Dallas makes a ton of sense. White would probably get paid more, he'd have a clean slate to rebuild himself, and any success he has will likely be displayed under a much brighter spotlight