Thursday, June 30, 2022

Buccaneers pick up Pro Bowler linebacker Devin White’s fifth-year option

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Bowl linebacker Devin White is staying in Tampa for at least the next two seasons. The Buccaneers announced they have picked up White’s fifth-year option ahead of the May 2 deadline.

The fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, White is entering the final year of his four-year, $29.3 million contract. He is slated to make $11.7 million under the team’s fifth-year option in 2023. By picking up his option, this gives the Buccaneers more time to work out a long-term deal for White, who has played an integral role in the franchise’s success over the past two seasons. 

An immediate starter, White racked up 91 tackles during his rookie season. He also forced three fumbles and returned two of his four fumble recoveries for touchdowns. White also recorded his first-career interception that season. 

White was even better in 2020. In 15 regular-season games, White tallied 140 tackles and nine sacks while helping Tampa Bay clinch a wild card berth. He had two interceptions during the Buccaneers’ run through the playoffs that included an interception of Patrick Mahomes during the Buccaneers’ 31-9 win over the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. 

A Pro Bowler in 2021, White recorded 128 tackles and 3.5 sacks while helping the Buccaneers capture the NFC South division crown. His play helped the Buccaneers’ defense finish fifth in the NFL in scoring. 

White is one of several successful first-round picks who have been selected during Jason Licht’s run as the Buccaneers general manager. The list also includes quarterback Jameis Winston (2015), tight end OJ Howard (2017), defensive tackle Vita Vea (2018), and right tackle Tristan Wirfs (2021). 

The Buccaneers own six picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, including the 27th overall selection. Linebacker, defensive tackle, tight end and running back are among the positions the Buccaneers are expected to address during the draft, which begins on Thursday night. 

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