What will a new Tristan Wirfs contract look like for the Buccaneers?

Making sure the Bucs don't lose Tristan Wirfs is going to be expensive, but worth every penny.
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

In a twist that some might have seen coming, All-Pro offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs is holding out for a new contract. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to pay him and the situation is far less dramatic than it will come across, but it's no doubt the first step in finalizing a way to give Wirfs a long-term deal.

The Bucs have already taken care of Antoine Winfield Jr., Baker Mayfield, and Mike Evans, with Wirfs always being that last domino to fall.

Evans, Mayfield, and Winfield were all free agents this year, which is why they were prioritized over Wirfs who still has a year left on his rookie contract. It was a matter of when, not if, the Bucs were going to find a way to pay Wirfs and the time seems to be now.

Wirfs holding out starts the clock on Tampa Bay, and begs the question of how much the team will need to fork over in order to make sure the best tackle in football remains a key piece of the core.

How much will the Buccaneers need to pay to keep Tristan Wirfs?

Just like the Bucs did with Winfield, the expectation is that Wirfs will become the highest-paid player at his position when a new deal is agreed upon. There are two contracts to look at for reference: Penei Sewell and Laremy Tunsil.

Sewell and Tunsil are make up the highest-paid right and left tackles in the NFL, respectively.

Total Salary

Salary AAV

Total Guarunteed

Penei Sewell




Laremy Tunsil




Wirfs contract will exceed both of those, and it's likely that he reaches at least $30 million AAV. His guaranteed money will probably fall somewhere between what Tunsil and Sewell are getting, with an early projection of around $65 million making a lot of sense.

Keep in mind that's total guaranteed money, not fully guaranteed money. Like we've seen with other contracts the Bucs have handed out this offseason, the actual figure the team pays will probably be lower than what is initially reported.

Still, it's going to be a whopping number and rightfully so. Something in the neighborhood of $150 million could be where this all ends up for the Bucs and Wirfs, and it will be worth every penny.

Proj. Total Salary

Proj. Salary AAV

Proj. Total Guaranteed

Tristan Wirfs




Whatever the final figure ends up being is one thing, but how the Bucs structure the deal is equally as important. Tampa Bay's front office has put on a masterclass over the last few years when it comes to creating space for players to get paid what they're owed while not letting it block any future moves.

A new deal for Wirfs will put a cap on what the team is willing -- and able -- to spend moving forward, but it's a no-brainer to get a deal done. There's no question the value Wirfs brings to the team as leader in addition to his All-Pro play on the offensive line. Now it's about landing on the right number to accurately reflect how important he is to the team and how valued he is as a key piece of the core moving forward.

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