Buccaneers franchise tag Antoine Winfield Jr., Baker Mayfield set to become free agent

The Buccaneers have made their choice for their franchise tag.

According to multiple reports, Tampa Bay is tagging safety Antoine Winfield Jr. to keep him around for 2024. But the Buccaneers are still interested in signing Winfield to a long-term deal before the mid-July deadline.

This was the expected move from the Bucs, as opposed to the club tagging quarterback Baker Mayfield. But Tampa Bay is still expected to push to re-sign the quarterback, who will become an unrestricted free agent next week.

Winfield, 25, was a second-round pick in 2020. He has started all 59 games in which he's played. In 2023, he was on the field for 98 percent of Tampa Bay’s defensive snaps, recording 122 total tackles, 6.0 sacks, six tackles for loss, three interceptions, and a league-leading six forced fumbles.

Winfield was named a first-team All-Pro for the first time in 2023 for his performance.