Devin White’s request for a trade has come as a surprise for the NFL community. As an integral part of Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl 2020-winning defense, he has registered impressive numbers in his two seasons in the league. Despite this, the Buccaneers do not want to trade White. The source of his frustration, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, is White’s unsettled contract negotiations.
White’s ability to lead the team in tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks has made him a valuable asset to the Buccaneers. However, his game has certain flaws that could complicate new contract negotiations. He has missed at least 8.1% of his tackle attempts in all four NFL seasons and has struggled in two of the last three seasons with a passer rating of at least 104.9. Furthermore, his effort has been questioned by Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.
While negotiations continue between White and the Buccaneers, contemplating potential landing spots for him is exciting for fans. Any team considering a trade must weigh his strengths and weaknesses, his contract demands, schematic fit, and roster need. Here are the top five potential landing spots, listed in order of lowest to highest match:
First, the Miami Dolphins could offer a potential landing spot for White. The Dolphins’ defense needs a starter-level inside linebacker, and they have the salary cap space to accommodate White’s contract. Second, the Indianapolis Colts, with a strong linebacker corps, could place White alongside All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard. The defensive scheme primarily depends on their linebackers’ ability in coverage, which would require White to improve that part of his game.
Third, the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach, John Gruden, could use White in his 4-3 scheme to compensate for the departure of veteran linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. The Raiders also have enough cap space to afford White’s expected salary demands. Fourth, the New England Patriots, who have many holes to fill, could be a potential landing spot. However, the Patriots’ revamp in their linebacker corps would be necessary for White to fit into their scheme. Finally, the Minnesota Vikings, who have a need for a starting-level inside linebacker, plenty of cap space, and a better camp fit, could be a perfect landing spot.
As the Buccaneers work towards retaining White, many teams would be keen to add a Pro Bowl linebacker of his caliber to their rosters. What remains to be seen is whether any of these potential landing spots will materialize, given the Buccaneers’ reluctance to trade him.