In a move that pretty much no one saw coming, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers found a way to bring back one of their top unrestricted free agents. Per Ian Rapoport, cornerback Jamel Dean will be back in red and pewter;
Ranked as NFL Network’s tenth best free agent, Dean was widely expected to leave for the big money deal in free agency. Instead, the Bucs gave him the big money deal to stay put;
Bucs are signing CB Jamel Dean to a four year, $52 million contract.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 13, 2023
This solidifies one big need the Buccaneers were expected to have heading into the draft as they have their starting corner opposite Carlton Davis for the foreseeable future. However, that doesn’t mean the Bucs won’t be targeting a corner in the draft as Sean Murphy-Bunting is likely the odd man out. Multiple teams are interested in Murphy-Bunting and he will be able to get a deal as a starter elsewhere.
Dean has continued to improve each year to the point that he was one of the top free agents on the market. Bringing him back for the next four seasons is a giant step in solidifying the secondary for the upcoming season.
UPDATE: Buccaneers confirm the signing of Jamel Dean;
Staying in Tampa— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) March 15, 2023
Bucs GM Jason Licht said, “It has been great seeing Jamel’s growth as a player these past four seasons. Keeping him was a top priority for us, and it worked out well that he also had a strong desire to stay here.”