With the future of DeSean Jackson in question along with Adam Humphries impending free agency, receiver comes up as a potential position of need depth wise. Kevin White was a highly regarded play making receiver out of West Virginia who ended up going to the Bears with 7th overall pick in 2015. White’s combination of size and speed in college led some to compare the receiver to a raw DeAndre Hopkins. Alas, that was college and now he’s an NFL pro entering free agency.
Kevin White’s Career
As previously stated, Kevin White entered the NFL as a highly regarded raw talent at wide receiver and the Chicago Bears invested a 7th overall selection on him. It’s been an uphill battle for White ever since to get on, and stay on, the field. White missed the entire 2015 season due to injuries and a multitude of injuries have nagged him ever since. So much so to the point where White has only managed to scrum together a total of 409 snaps in the last three seasons combined. White’s best season was in 2016 when Pro Football Focus graded him out as a 66 overall. White has only managed six catches over the last two seasons combined.
Why the Buccaneers need him.
Plain and simple, no team truly needs Kevin White as he currently stands. It’s harsh to admit, but the former top ten pick has shown zero reason to believe he can stay healthy. If Kevin White was able to get a clean bill of health and prove he still has the big play ability, major if, then Tampa could certainly use another vertical threat with size in an offense under Bruce Arians that will look to push the ball down the field often. The talent that made teams and scouts believe that he had the most upside of any receiver in his draft class, one that included Amari Cooper, may still be there as it’s just been covered up by horrible injury luck.
Another reason the Buccaneers could use a guy like Kevin White is to add another big bodied target for Jameis Winston. White has great size at 6’3” and is still relatively young at 26 years old. For a money strapped team like the Buccaneers, value is of the utmost importance come this free agency period.
What Will Kevin White Cost?
The reason Kevin White is a free agent is because the Chicago Bears opted out of his $13.9 million dollar option. White was a $5.3 million dollar hit against the cap a year ago and was ultimately a healthy scratch down the stretch. White hasn’t shown any value beyond a depth player on offense since entering the league and teams are all well aware of his injury history. Should White find a team, it will most likely be for a short deal in the ballpark of a Corey Coleman/Eli Rogers contract from this past off-season of $630k for a single season.
Will It Happen?
Being a healthy scratch down the stretch for a former first round pick by his drafted team never bodes well for ones future. So will it happen in Tampa Bay? Doubtful. The team already has some talent at wide receiver behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, adding an unknown in Kevin White seems a bit strange even with him finding his health last season. If White does sign, it would be for a bottom of the roster spot in camp and he would have an uphill battle to make this roster given the current state of the receiving core, with or without Jackson and Hump in the mix.