There isn’t much of a secret that the Bucs are in search of their next quarterback with limited cap space to work with. What’s not being talked about is the Bucs potentially losing their top cornerback, Jamel Dean, unless a deal can be reached, meaning Jason Licht is going to have to work his typical number magic to match what they paid their #2 cornerback last year.
The third-round selection in 2019 has made his presence known since his rookie season. During his rookie campaign, Dean split reps with MJ Stewart, eventually beating him out for the starting role. Dean also split time with Veron Hargreaves III and fellow rookies Carlton Davis III and Sean Murphy-Bunting, with a majority of the reps coming after the team parted ways with Hargreaves in October 2019. The Bucs began a rotation of corners, including Mazzi Wilkins and Darian Stewart, along with their rookies for the remainder of the season.
The youngsters showed enough promise to be the only ones standing from the previous season, and it paid off as the unit solidified itself and adopted the nickname “Gravediggers” as they were the best cornerback unit in the league after the Bucs’ Week 10 loss to the Chiefs.
During the 2021 offseason, the Bucs came to terms with Carlton Davis III on a 3-year, 45-million dollar deal with $ 30 million guaranteed. This year, it’s Dean’s turn, and there may be a real chance that type of money is going to come from another franchise. Unfortunately for the Bucs, they run the risk of losing what’s been their best corner for the past three seasons.