Bucs re-signed their 2 most improved players

Tampa Bay head coach Todd Bowles was asked a direct question by host Casey Phillips on the latest episode of the Bucs Total Access radio program. Who were the team’s most improved players in 2022?

It came as no surprise that Bowles, a defensive head coach, picked up the names of not just one, but two of his defensive players.

“Anthony Nelson and Jamel Dean,” Bowles said. “I think Nelson really came into his own when Shaq [Barrett] hurt. He had some big bag fumbles. I thought Dean was one of the best cover boys in the league for the first half to three quarters of the year.

It also came as no surprise that the Bucs made re-signing Dean and Nelson a priority in free agency. Both players signed multi-year contract extensions before reaching free agency.

Bucs CB Jamel Dean – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Dean was the first Bucs player to re-sign this offseason and a four-year contract worth $52 millionincluded $24.5 million in guaranteed money. The deal costs an average of $13 million per season, which is less than what Carlton Davis III received last year when he signed a three-year extension worth $44.5 million and averaged $14.88 million per season.

Dean broke eight passes in 15 games and tied his career high with two interceptions last year, both of which resulted in a Week 2 victory in New Orleans. The Auburn product has seven career interceptions, including a 2020 pick six against Aaron Rodgers.

Nelson’s deal was two years for $10 million, which can go up to $13 million. He was instrumental in the Bucs’ pass rush last year, especially when Shaq Barrett tore his Achilles tendon in a Week 8 loss to Baltimore and was out for the season.

With Nelson back in the group, Tampa Bay returns with its top three edge rushers from a year ago. Nelson had a career-high 5.5 sacks, tied for second on the team, and his three forced fumbles led the Bucs.

Signing Jamel Dean, Anthony Nelson Help when it comes to the design of the Bucs

Bucs Olbs Anthony Nelson and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka

Bucs OLBs Anthony Nelson and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The fact that the Bucs have both starting cornerbacks in Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis III returning in 2023 makes cornerback less needed heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. Had Dean signed elsewhere in free agency, Tampa Bay might have been forced to use its first-round pick at cornerback.

Now the Bucs can field another cornerback for depth in the middle rounds, especially with sophomore corner Zyon McCollum also on the roster, and address more pressing needs elsewhere.

The Bucs will likely opt for an edge rusher early in the round in case Shaq Barrett, who turns 30 this year, doesn’t fully recover from his torn Achilles tendon. And the team needs to have a young, development-oriented pass-rusher in the fold in case former first-round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka doesn’t take off.

Tryon-Shoyinka has recorded back-to-back years with just four sacks and is due to have a breakout season in 2023. The team hopes that new outside linebackers coach George Edwards can help get JTS, Nelson and the rest of the players into position. to new heights.

#Bucs #resigned #improved #players

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