Chris Conte, you know him, and you don’t love him. In fact, you probably hate him. You know it, we know it, and he knows it. He’s without a doubt one of the least favored players on the Buccaneers roster. It wasn’t just the Bucs fans who weren’t fond of him.
His original rise to infamy began immediately with the Chicago Bears after he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Fans there never cared for him and eventually, after Lovie Smith was hired in Tampa, he found his way south, and he and Bradley McDougald found themselves on the “Least Athletic Safety Duo” list.*
It’s been downhill ever since.
The Bucs’ duo at safety of Chris Conte and Bradley McDougald is one of the league’s least athletic. That certainly is not the case with Peppers, who wowed with his athleticism and instincts regardless of where the Wolverines lined up him.”
There was even a meme floating around with his face on a wanted poster for being the worst safety in the league.
Last year, Conte spoke about the last eight years of consistent onslaughts. People saying that he’s gotten zero respect from the time he entered the league. Despite the fact that on paper Conte’s numbers actually rivaled fellow safeties like Tyrann Mathieu. But that would never matter.
The draft situation in 2018 did not help him at any point. After Derwin James wasn’t drafted and the selection was used DT Vita Vea, Conte love was at an all-time low. Nothing he did was ever going to be right. He was the “anti-James” for all intents and purposes. Nothing could be worse for him.
Then it happened. In week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chris Conte went head-on with TE Vance McDonald and received “the stiff arm for the ages.” Conte, after taking a terrible angle on the tackle and McDonald getting the best of him, came out of the game with a knee injury. The Knee injury placed him on IR for the remainder of the season. Rumors had it that he already had the injury and played with it anyway.
Fans rejoiced over the injury, even though it put the Bucs in a very tough position. With the roster cuts and transition into Todd Bowles new scheme, Conte could find himself in the Buccaneers uniform for another year, but this will be much dismay of many fans. Justified or not, everybody hates Chris.