Should the Buccaneers trade Carlton Davis III or Jamel Dean?

Days before free agency begins, Tampa Bay is actively listening to calls from teams about Davis III and Dean
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In the days leading up to the start of NFL free agency, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already made multiple moves that will have a significant impact on their roster.

Last week superstar wide receiver Mike Evans agreed on a two-year, $52 million deal, keeping him in Tampa Bay through the 2025 season.

Tampa Bay also retained their other top free agents, using the $19.8 million franchise tag on free safety Antoine Winfield Jr. To top it off, reports finally locked in quarterback Baker Mayfield on a three-year, $100 million deal.

While it's huge that those guys are back, it's not the end of the offseason list.

The legal tampering period will create a frenzy and it's not just free agents who will attract some attention. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Tampa Bay is open to moving on from one of their starting corners in Carlton Davis III or Jamel Dean.

Should the Buccaneers trade Carlton Davis III or Jamel Dean?

Davis III was the first cornerback to arrive in Tampa after the 2018 draft. Since then, Davis III has been a steady starter in the secondary for Tampa Bay. Starting in 75 of 76 games played, Dean has recorded 324 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 73 pass breakups, and nine interceptions. Similarly, Dean was a key factor in the Buccaneers' Super Bowl LVI winning season, with season totals of 68 tackles, 18 pass breakups, and four interceptions, all career-highs.

Dean, the No. 94 pick in the 2019 NFL draft, has played his entire five-year career in Tampa. In 70 career games (51 starts), Dean has recorded 254 tackles, six tackles for loss, 45 pass breakups and seven interceptions. In 2021, Dean was great, finishing the season with 53 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions, while allowing 319 yards and zero touchdowns on 48.5% completion when targeted, per Sports Reference.

Unlike many trade candidates, Davis III and Dean are both on long-term contracts that keep them under team control for multiple seasons. As it stands, Davis's three-year, $44.5 million contract expires in 2025, while Dean's four-year, $52 million deal is up in 2027.

In the case Tampa Bay does deal Davis III, Dean, or both, the team will likely seek high draft capital in the form of an early day two draft pick. Any possible transactions with the two cornerbacks would save Tampa Bay an estimated $6-9 million in cap space, per Sportrac.

Ideally the dup can return to the high level that we've seen them perform at in the past, but if the team can get some nice pieces to add for the future it might be worth the gamble.

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