Still a young player in this league
Chalk it up to youth, and still playing under his rookie contract. Devin White has never been where he is now (approaching the end of an NFL Contract). Personally, I believe it was a lot of frustration within White of not having a long-term deal locked down to keep him here for the long term. Jumping the gun comes to mind after hearing him address the situation at camp yesterday (8/7). The following quote is how he replied to being asked if there were any regrets about asking to be traded.
“Yeah, as far as regret, I don’t think there is regret. I don’t think it’s just about being paid. It’s just about being a guy who was drafted here and doing a lot for this program. I just want to be the long-term guy, you know, just want to be a guy like Lavonte – he’s been here forever. I wanted to be that next guy. We just didn’t make it happen when I wanted to. And that’s why I kind of got a little selfish. Even knowing I still had the fifth-year option, and that was a thing in play. I guess, early on, you don’t realize it, like, ‘Hey, I’m at the end of my contract; let’s get it in and lock me in.’ I know I feel comfortable here. I love the coaching staff here, all the teammates, and even fans, you know, the ones that went against me and the ones who are still with me; it’s all love. At the end of the day, I thought that was best for me, and at the end of the day, I’m still here. I came back with a positive mindset, and I’m locked in. I know you all have been watching practices, and I’ve been getting it in. I’ve been trying to be the leader for this team because we [have] a great bunch this year. I think we can get it done.”
It sounds like a veteran or two had a talk with White about his contract situation and where he stands within it. He sounds like he realizes he needs to be a bit more patient with the process. At least he’s saying all the right things now that he’s in camp and preparing for the pre-season schedule.
Not the human highlight reel, but a very strong player
From my observations, reading Bucs’ Social Media posts among other things, I’ve taken from it all that a lot of fans don’t appreciate what Devin White brings to the table. When he was drafted, many fans were expecting a player that forced turnovers and made two or more sacks every game. A player that scored touchdowns on the defense at a high rate. While White does do these things, they are here and there, spread out over a season. If you check out the box scores from games, the one thing that he does consistently is turn in a high tackles rate in almost every game. He and David are usually one, two in team tackle totals (solo, assisted). In turn, White is normally in the top 5 to 10 in League tackle totals, with David close by in front or behind. He does the number one thing that defensive players are most expected to do; stop your opponent from advancing past you: very, very well. It could easily be said that he’s a top 5 linebacker in this league. I don’t believe White has reached his potential yet. He is still getting better. So try and appreciate what he does do; those highlight reel moments will happen just don’t expect them often. It’s an extremely rare, almost non-existent, player that can do that every game. The fact that there were so many rumored takers for him when he said he wanted a trade should tell us all something. The guy can ball. Go Bucs!!