While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended their 2023 campaign with a playoff run, they entered the offseason with a number of contractual concerns. With Mike Evans already taken care of, the Buccaneers turned their attention to Antoine Winfield Jr.

Tampa Bay used the franchise tag on Winfield, awarding the safety just over $17 million. However, the Buccaneers are still trying to work towards a long-term contract with Winfield.

The safety put together the first All-Pro season of his four-year career in 2023, marking new career-highs across the board. Winfield put up 122 tackles, 12 passes defended, a league-leading six forced fumbles and three interceptions. He was named a Pro-Bowler for the second time in his career and finished sixth in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

While the 2023 may have put him squarely on the map, Winfield has been a crucial component of Tampa Bay's defense since joining the team in 2020. Over 59 career games, the safety has made 384 tackles, 27 passes defended, 11 forced fumbles and seven interceptions.

When it comes to navigating their cap space, the Buccaneers first signed Evans to a two-year, $52 million contract. Tampa is trying to re-signing quarterback Baker Mayfield after he orchestrated an NFC South championship run. But while both will cost a pretty penny, the Bucs didn't want to lose Winfield in the process.

Both sides will continue to work towards a long-term deal. Perhaps once Mayfield's situation is settled those talks will get more serious. But for now, the franchise tag has allowed the Buccaneers to keep Antoine Winfield Jr in Tampa Bay for at least one more season.