Latest On Buccaneers, T Tristan Wirfs

JUNE 11: Wirfs is indeed in attendance at minicamp, as detailed by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. As a result, he will not be subject to fines. Stroud adds, though, that the team does not want Wirfs to take part in on-field work given the fact he was absent from OTAs. His next participation in that respect could be delayed until a deal is worked out.

JUNE 5: Tristan Wirfs is not expected to join some of this year’s contract-seeking players in skipping minicamp. The All-Pro Buccaneers tackle is on track to show for the team’s mandatory workouts next week,’s Jenna Laine notes.

This is not believed to be a contentious negotiation, even though Wirfs has skipped Bucs OTAs. He is viewed as a key component in an aggressive Bucs retention strategy — one that has already produced new deals for Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans, Lavonte David and Antoine Winfield Jr. this offseason.

The Bucs have operated differently from most teams when it comes to retaining players. They let the above-referenced quartet play out their contracts and retained them all, doing so via deals just before free agency (Evans, Mayfield), in free agency (David) or an extension after a franchise tag (Winfield). Tampa Bay has managed to complete deals to keep players on the cusp of free agency for years, retaining the likes of Shaq Barrett (2021), Carlton Davis and Ryan Jensen (2022), and Jamel Dean (2023) on big-ticket deals either just before the market opened or shortly after that year’s legal tampering period began.

Wirfs going down this path would make him a clear candidate for a franchise tag. Most teams prefer to have their extensions done before a player’s contract year, reducing leverage that comes from free agency nearing. The Bucs have zagged here, in many cases, though it would be interesting to see them go down this road with a player who is in line for a potential tackle-record deal. For now, Wirfs is tied to an $18.6MM fifth-year option salary.

GM Jason Licht called a Wirfs extension a key piece of the team’s puzzle, and Laine adds indications point to the 2020 first-round pick landing an extension that surpasses the four-year, $112MM accord the Lions authorized for Penei Sewell. Like Sewell, Wirfs has played both right and left tackle as a pro. Sewell, however, played on the blind side as a rookie due to a Taylor Decker injury. The Bucs moved Wirfs to the higher-profile tackle spot last season, and he delivered a third Pro Bowl showing.

Wifs, 25, moving to left tackle would have seemingly raised his asking price. That may still be the case, but Sewell earned a $28MM-per-year payday — $3MM north of the LT market’s ceiling — after two years as a high-end right tackle. While the Bucs are not believed to be close on terms with their two-time All-Pro blocker just yet, the team has a second Wirfs contract squarely on its radar. The sides will reconvene at minicamp next week.

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