Vikings News: Marcus Davenport, Kirk Cousins, Antoine Winfield Jr., Jake Reed

Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
3 of 4

Vikings News: Antoine Winfield Jr. expected to be franchise tagged

Looking ahead to free agency in March, some Vikings fans have been excited about the possibility of the team signing safety Antoine Winfield Jr., the son of former Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield.

The younger Winfield has been a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since they selected him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. His contract is set to expire with the Bucs when the new league year begins in March, but a recent report indicates that he's likely not even going to make it to free agency.

According to the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud on Monday, the Bucs are likely going to place the franchise tag on Winfield in the near future. Starting on Tuesday, Tampa Bay will have until 4 p.m. EST on March 5th to use their tag on the All-Pro defensive back, and it seems like it's something they're probably going to do.

This is unfortunate news for Vikings fans who wanted to see the former Minnesota Golden Gopher return to the Twin Cities and suit up in a purple and gold uniform, just as his father did from 2004 to 2012.

If the Bucs do end up using the franchise tag on Winfield, he's projected to earn a salary of $16.2 million for the 2024 season, according to Spotrac.