Bucs Start DB signs with Chiefs in Free Agency

Safety Mike Edwards, the Bucs’ third-round pick in 2019 and a key starter through the 2022 season, has signed with the Chiefs, the NFL Networks Ian Rapoport reported that Friday evening. It’s a one-year deal for $3 million, and it has the potential to reach $5 million with incentives.

Edwards was a member of the Bucs for the past four seasons. He spent the first three seasons as a starter in the secondary before taking on a bigger role with the departure of safety Jordan Whitehead to the New York Jets last offseason.

Known for his playing skills in a depth role from 2019-2021, he came in 2022 want to be a “ball hawk” and get more interceptions. However, he failed to reach that level with more snaps. Nevertheless, his departure leaves a big hole in the Tampa Bay defensive backfield. Anthony Winfield Jr. is the only starter from last year’s safety group still on the roster at this point.

Mike Edwards had a lot of big moments for Bucs

Last season Edwards set many personal bests when he was tasked with starting in safety alongside Winfield. After starting 11 games in his first three seasons together, he started 12 games alone in 2022. With more starts came more tackles, as his 82 tackles were third on the team, ahead of Winfield and behind inside linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White .

In addition, he contributed two interceptions, including a 68-yard pick-six off quarterback Jameis Winston that sealed the Bucs’ 20–10 win over the Saints in Week 2.

During his time with the Bucs, this was one of three pick sixes Edwards had. Notably, this came in one of the best games the defense played during the season, as they managed to create turnovers and pressure quarterback Tom Brady.

For the rest of the year, the unit was inconsistent in its ability to take the ball away, as was Edwards’ play as he battled injury and struggled at times with coverage and defense.

Take Pro Football Focus (PFF) grades for what you will, but after a hot start to the year, Edwards finished with a cumulative grade of 52.3, the lowest grade of his career, finishing 82nd out of 88 safes . In terms of coverage, he was ranked 72nd out of 87 (53.6). In run defense, it came in lower at 76 of 82 (46.6).

While it wasn’t the standard of play with which he wanted to enter free agency, he was still able to convert it into a deal with the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs.

Bucs HC Bowles reflects on S Mike Edwards tenure in Tampa

Speaking to the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, a few weeks ago, head coach Todd Bowles reflected on Edwards’ play for the team.

Bucs head coach Todd Bowles

Bucs Head Coach Todd Bowles – Photo by: Matt Matera/PR

“I thought his tackling got better from the moment he first came in,” said Bowles. “I thought he filled a big void playing safety because he was several in front of us in different positions. Then he got teased a bit and sort of messed up the rest of the season – but I thought he was a warrior for us and he fought.

Bowles has previously praised Edwards, called him once the team’s “most cerebral player” in January 2022. Clearly, Bowles had a high opinion of Edwards, but the former Kentucky Wildcat is now on his way to Kansas City.

Edwards ends his time with the Bucs with a total of 184 tackles and seven interceptions (including the three pick sixes). His greatest achievement came not from individual stats, but from being on the Super Bowl-winning team in 2020. He had a crucial fourth-quarter interception of the NFC Divisional Round victory over the Saints during that run.

#Bucs #Start #signs #Chiefs #Free #Agency

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker