Todd Bowles sets record straight about Devin White not practicing at Bucs minicamp

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Minicamp
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Minicamp / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers march through minicamp this week, one of the biggest storylines doesn't surround the quarterback battle between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask.

Instead, Devin White has taken center stage amid questions about what the future holds for him in Tampa Bay. White is in the final year of his rookie contract and would like a new deal that pays him like a top linebacker in the league.

Tampa Bay has been adamant that it won't meet an unreasonable price -- or one that boxes the team out of future moves -- and talks seemed to stall over the winter. White went so far as to request a trade back in April, a move that came after some cryptic Instagram messages that seemed like farewell messages to fans and teammates.

Despite all of this, White reported to mandatory minicamp on Tuesday and was present at practice on Wednesday. He participated in team photo shoots over the weekend and seems to playing along as much as he has to.

That hasn't stopped rumors of White staging a hold-in at minicamp, which is when a player shows up in order to not get fined but doesn't actually do anything.

Todd Bowles addresses rumors that Devin White is staging a hold-in at Buccaneers minicamp

During the second day of minicamp, Bowles spoke to the media and set the record straight about rumors that White was a 'hold-in'. In fact, the head coach went as far as to defend White and shield him from the allegations.

"It's not a hold-in. We'd like to see where he is physically, so we don't feel like we need to put him out here right now until we test him," Bowles said. "Two or three days of camp isn't going to help him."

So it sounds like White not practicing at minicamp has less to do with a hold-in situation and more to do with making sure he's healthy for the upcoming season.

A lot of this drama seems to be concocted from the outside, as the Bucs and White haven't really commented much on the contract situation. We know that White requested a trade and the Bucs have been adamant that he needs to show up as long as he's under contract, but it's been mum beyond that.

One key thing to remember is that White wants a new contract, he doesn't want out of Tampa Bay. His trade request was centered on leverage, not a desire to no longer play for the Buccaneers.

Keeping White healthy is a win-win for everyone invovled. The Bucs need him to return to his Pro Bowl form if they want to be competitive this season, and such a performance would give White the leverage he's seeking for the deal he wants.


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