Buccaneers GM Jason Licht Addresses Negotiations With Antoine Winfield Jr., Tristan Wirfs

The Buccaneers have had success so far this offseason in retaining several key members of the 2023 team which won the NFC South. Extension talks with a pair of foundational players – safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and left tackle Tristan Wirfs – represent major priorities still to be addressed, though.

In the case of the former, optimism exists team and player can hammer out a long-term deal. Winfield is currently attached to a $17.12MM franchise tag, but a multi-year agreement could make him the league’s top earner at the safety spot. Wifrs, meanwhile, successfully moved from the right tackle spot to manning the blindside in 2023 with a third straight Pro Bowl nod. Deals with both players will not come cheaply, but general manager Jason Licht is confident they can be worked out.

“We’ve had really good discussions there,” Licht recently confirmed when speaking about Winfield and Wirfs. “Once again, it’s like the same thing when we were at the Combine talking about Baker [Mayfield] and Mike [Evans] and Lavonte [David]. We really want them here, we want them here long term, I think they want to be here long term. We’ve had a good track record with getting things done. I feel pretty good about things getting done.”

Indeed, Licht and Co. have managed to keep Mayfield, Evans and David in the fold despite all three players facing the potential of free agency this offseason. Neither Winfield nor Wirfs is on the market presently, but both would command substantial interest if they were able to negotiate with outside teams. Avoiding such a scenario would be a costly but rewarding endeavor on Tampa Bay’s part (and one which could free up much-needed 2024 cap space in the process).

Winfield earned first-team All-Pro acclaim last season, and at 25 he could provide solid value for years to come even on a record-breaking pact. Wifrs, also 25, is set to earn $18.6MM this season on his fifth-year option before seeing a major raise on his next pact. If Licht’s optimism proves to be well-placed, both Winfield and Wirfs could have extensions in hand in relatively short order.

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