TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Buccaneers have no intentions of trading star linebacker Devin White, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said Thursday.
Last month, the 25-year-old who helped Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl in his second season posted cryptic messages on social media that suggested he may have played his last game with the Bucs. ESPN and NFL Network reported this week that White has requested a trade.
White is seeking a long-term contract and entering the final year of the deal he signed as the fifth overall selection in the 2019 draft. The Bucs picked up the fifth-year option that’ll pays him $11.7 million in the upcoming season.
“First of all, we all have all the respect in the world for Devin. He’s done some great things for us as a player and we look forward to more from him in the future,” Licht said during the team’s annual pre-draft media availability.
“He’s on our team. We are looking forward to this season. We’re gearing up for the season with the draft right now, free agency, and we’re looking forward to him being part of this team,” Licht added. “If he has the kind of year we all think he’s capable of, we can hopefully put this to rest and everybody’s happy.”
White, a team captain, became an immediate starter as a rookie and had a career-best nine sacks in 2020. That same year, he had a breakout postseason in helping Tom Brady lead the Bucs to the second Super Bowl title in franchise history.
He had another solid season in 2022 with 124 tackles, 5½ sacks and 16 quarterback hits, but also drew some criticism on social media in October for what was perceived as a lack of hustle on a key play during a nationally televised prime-time loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Licht was asked if he envisioned the possibility of White holding out from training camp or maybe not playing under his current contract if the linebacker remains frustrated by a lack of progress toward a new deal.
“I can’t look into the future,” Licht said. “Like I said, we have the utmost respect for Devin. That’s part of the business world of … this job that I don’t like. He’s a competitor, he’s a player. Everybody holds him in high regard.”
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Leave a Reply