The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are flush with talent. That ‘s no secret.
Not anymore, anyway.
Ever since the arrival of Tom Brady, his trickle-down effect (and the wins that inevitably accompany it) has changed the way that Buccaneers players are perceived around the league.
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Lavonte David, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin are just a few of the Bucs who have made the transition from “underrated” players to household names. It’s not like each of these players just started playing better once Brady took the reins – it’s that they finally started to receive the attention they deserved.
In addition to the presence of Brady, the Buccaneers’ improved winning percentage since he arrived, and of course his victory in Super Bowl 55 – a massive spike in nationally televised primetime games – has certainly helped shine more light on the team’s more unheralded players. All of these factors are undoubtedly intertwined.
Since the franchise recently regained relevancy, it becomes harder for some of the Buccaneers’ prized possessions to fly under the radar.
So despite the fact that many Tampa Bay Buccaneers players are finally being recognized league-wide for their high level of skill and production, Doug Farrar (NFL Editor for TouchdownWire of USA Today) believes one of the team’s younger players is still getting recognition that is warranted based on his performance in the field.
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In his latest article, The NFL’s Most Underrated Defensive Player, Farrar identifies Antoine Winfield Jr. As one of the best deep safeties in the NFL.
“In 2021, Winfield gave up 29 passes on 38 targets for 269 yards, 137 yards after the catch, no touchdowns, two interceptions, and an opponent passer rating of 73.2. Perhaps more importantly, he showed the skills that rarest of all. Birds on a defense – the shutdown deep-third defender. “
And while we’re on the topic of underrated performers, Doug Farrar is currently underrated himself. At least as far as NFL media coverage goes. He’s been putting out high quality, in-depth and unbiased analysis of NFL players and draft prospects for many years.
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So although Bucs fans don’t need much affirmation as it relates to Antoine Winfield’s status as a great player in the league, it certainly doesn’t hurt to know that he’s coming off a Pro Bowl appearance in 2021, and playing a huge role in The Bucs’ acquisition of a Lombardi trophy this year prior, according to Doug Farrar, is still not enough.
Winfield’s unique combination of strength, instincts, ball skills, versatility and football IQ is a huge reason why he experienced so much success, so early in his career. The fact he accomplished so much, in such a small amount of time in the league, is still acknowledged for being “underrated”, telling you all you need to know about what the future holds in store for Antoine Winfield Jr.
For more of Collin Haalboom‘s coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, be sure to check out Bucs Banter podcastChat Lounge
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