Buccaneers Free Agent Spotlight: Safety, Xavier Woods

It’s a new day in Tampa Bay and that means more questions about who the team might be looking to bring in during free agency. With Jordan Whitehead having an expiring contract and there’s a very real possibility that he’ll turn to free agency for a big chunk of money on a long-term contract, the Bucs could very well be looking for his replacement in the job. starting security this off season. If the team is looking for a place in free agency that has good starting experience, is still young and might not break the bank as much as Jordan Whitehead, they can look to a player like Xavier Woods.

Taken in the 6th round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Woods showed he was a fantastic value pick for the Cowboys, as in four years with Dallas he played 60 games, starting 48 of said games from 2017 to 2020. During those, he compiled five INTs, 29 pass deflections, three forced fumbles, one recovered fumble, 247 combined tackles, four tackles for loss and five QB hits. After his Dallas debut, Woods would sign a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings for the 2021 season and start all 17 games for them finishing with three interceptions, 10 pass deflections, two forced fumbles, one sack, 108 tackles. combined, a tackle for loss and a QB hit. Woods showed throughout the start of his young career that he was a very capable starter of being a full-season starter for two different teams to start his career and posting some impressive stats at that.

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If the Bucs are looking for someone with starting experience to replace a player like Jordan Whitehead or even a solid depth piece to replace Andrew Adams who also has an expiring contract, Woods would seem like a fantastic option who could tick both boxes. whether you wanted him as a starter, or a very capable spin/depth piece player. Woods has been an overall solid safety since the start of his career and could very well fit a Todd Bowles style of defense at safety.

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The Buccaneers could look to use Mike Edwards more as a starting safety if Whitehead does not return, as he has done a very solid job in limited playing time with the Bucs and has a chance to play as a starting safety in the league. The Buccaneers could also very well turn to the draft and options already in the squad for safety depth, as they now have to be careful about the money they spend on certain groups of positions.

According to Spottract.com, Woods’ expected market value in free agency will be $4.3 million. That would represent a hefty salary increase over the 1.75 million Woods received from the Vikings in 2021 and makes sense considering Woods had a questionable breakout year in his only season at Minnesota. While it’s also likely a cheaper cost than what the Bucs would need to pay Jordan Whitehead, the Buccaneers could find themselves stuck this offseason with a large roster of free agents they’re looking to retain, including Whitehead. -same.

We don’t know for sure if the Buccaneers are going to leave Jordan Whitehead. The team would certainly like to keep a player like Whitehead, but will they be able to afford his price tag? If Whitehead leaves in free agency, we still don’t know if Woods would even be available to sign in free agency as there’s always a chance he could re-sign with the Vikings or sign with another team in free agency if the Bucs are unwilling to get into a bidding war with other teams.

Finally, we don’t know if the Buccaneers would have much of an interest in signing another safety in free agency as they could very well look to draft players and also rely on capable players in Mike Edwards for starting reps.

While it would make sense for the Bucs to look to free agency for another backup safety or maybe even a new starting safety if Whitehead leaves, I don’t think that will be their first option. The Bucs will work hard to bring a player like Jordan Whitehead back on a long-term contract and if that doesn’t work out the team could very well turn to Mike Edwards to fill the role of starting safety and lean on the draft. , younger players already familiar with the Bowles system and possibly bringing in Andrew Adams as well to fill gaps in depth plays.

Woods could very well re-sign with the Vikings or if he is able to go to free agency, he would get good interest from several teams. But the offseason is a crazy time and you can never count on a player going anywhere in the NFL.

Let me know your thoughts, Bucs Nation.

Survey

Regarding Xavier Woods, what would you like the Buccaneers to do?

  • 0%
    Sign it, no matter what

    (0 votes)

  • 0%
    Make an offer, but stay reasonable

    (0 votes)

  • 0%
    Invite him over for a cup of coffee and see where he goes

    (0 votes)

  • 0%
    Call him if they have a need after the NFL Draft

    (0 votes)

  • 0%
    I don’t need him

    (0 votes)


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