PewterReport.com has learned that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are prepared to let wide receiver Adam Humphries and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander test free agency. Negotiations with both pending unrestricted free agents have stalled and the Bucs are not expected to re-sign either player prior to the start of free agency on Wednesday, March 13.

The agents of Humphries and Alexander can begin soliciting offers at noon on Monday, March 11, but cannot sign deals with other teams until the start of free agency on Wednesday, March 13 at 4:00 p.m.

Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander
Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Humphries, who is considered the Bucs’ No. 3 receiver, is believed to be seeking a deal between $8 million – $10 million per year, while Alexander, who is recovering from a torn ACL, is believed to be seeking a deal north of $11 million per year.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht signed Humphries as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and drafted Alexander in the fourth round that year. He has a good relationship with both players, and he and new head coach Bruce Arians have publicly stated the team’s desire to re-sign Humphries and Alexander if they can make the numbers work. But that doesn’t look likely, especially for Humphries.

Tampa Bay believes it will have the opportunity to match any offer Humphries or Alexander gets in free agency, but the Bucs expect to lose Humphries to another team that can meet his financial requests, as PewterReport.com previously reported in February.

Tampa Bay is more hopeful that it can re-sign Alexander, whom Licht has called “the heartbeat of the defense,” and his current injury status may help the Bucs as what other teams would be willing to pay for a middle linebacker coming off an ACL injury is simply unknown until he hits the market and gets offers from other clubs.

Bucs RB Peyton Barber - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs RB Peyton Barber – Photo by: Getty Images

The Bucs are expected to attempt to get restricted free agent running back Peyton Barber signed to a multi-year extension prior to Wednesday, March 13 at 4:00 p.m. If not, Tampa Bay will have to tender Barber a one-year offer – likely at $3 million, which would come with second-round draft compensation to the Bucs if another team were to sign Barber to an offer sheet.

The Bucs are believed to have less than $4 million in salary cap room available, and would have to restructure the contract of at least one player, or make some roster cuts to create more salary cap room to re-sign Humphries, Alexander or Barber – let alone add players in free agency.

Shop the newest Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan gear at Fanatics!
Previous articleBucs’ Winston Talks Arians, DJax And More On Total Access
Next article2019 Free Agency Preview + Bucs’ Best Bets: ILB
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

8 COMMENTS

  1. I think it’s the right play. But if someone does come after Kwon and he leaves, LB becomes the #1 need on defense imo. Then you could pencil in Devin White for sure.

    +17
    -2
    Rating: +15. From 19 votes.
    Please wait...
  2. Good luck Humphries and Alexander. I think what they both are asking for is too much compared to what the Bucs are willing to pay IMO

    +9
    0
    Rating: +9. From 9 votes.
    Please wait...
  3. We are letting our best players go, and we are keeping some players who I wonder if they will be with the Team at the start of the Season, or the end of the Season. Humphries will definitely be tough to keep but to keep but Smith? McCoy? Smith is a difficult one too. He has been incredibly reliable, so there is that. But his numbers are getting worse. Two years ago, he was being talked about as a future pro-bowler, now I wonder if Bucs don’t end up moving him to the right side? McCoy is going to be tough also. Because he is still productive, but barely above average at this point. Alexander? Losing him will be devastating if he comes back healthy.

    +2
    -2
    Rating: 0. From 4 votes.
    Please wait...
  4. I don’t think Kwon is worth more than $5 million/year. He is an average linebacker in the NFL. He is not good or great. When has he taken over a game? When has he shut down a player? When has he taken over a quarter? Can you remember 5 game-changing plays he has made? I can’t remember one.

    Linebackers are the easiest position to come by. We shouldn’t over pay for average players. We had no choice with regard to our LT, and we handled that intelligently — a two year deal to tide us over until we can find the right replacement, while also allowing for the possibility that new coaching can change his level of professionalism and consistency. With Kwon it’s different. He is working hard and doing his best, but he appears to have limitations in his game. It’s terrific that he is feisty and has leadership ability, but the dude is the one-eyed king among the blind. He’s “leading” one of the worst defenses – and an average linebacking corps — in the NFL. There have been many years in Bucs history when we had dominant a LB corps. Kwon is not Hardy Nickerson, not Derrick Brooks, not Batman Wood, not Lavonte David. There are probably 4 other LBs in Bucs history who were better than him. He’s decent, but not a building block of a Super Bowl team. And unlike a LT, there is no reason to overpay for him. Replacements can be had in free agency and the draft. Let’s sign two vets in the second or third round of free agency and draft three guys in April. I wouldn’t reach for Devin White either. Very good LBs can be found throughout the draft. If Josh Allen or Quinnen Williams is available at 5 — which is very likely given the QBs that will be going early — I’d take a dominant pass rusher on the DL over a LB that high.

    +10
    -1
    Rating: +9. From 11 votes.
    Please wait...
    • you’re saying the guy w/ the green dot on his helmet is easily replaceable. The NFL is the deep end of the pool. IMO you add through the draft. You don’t replace. That’s a waste of opportunity. The ATL game after the death of his brother was a signature game. Who asks for less when they ask for a raise?

      +4
      -1
      Rating: +3. From 5 votes.
      Please wait...
  5. WR Adam Humphries is gone, but Kwon may be back. They will have money because also ***BREAKING*** is that the Bucs are shopping WR Desean Jackson. The Eagles are the preferred destination but will release if no takers as reported by Jenna Laine/ESPN.

    Chargers re-signed LB Denzel Perryman for 2 years, $12 million coming off season-ending knee injury. Might help set market for LB Kwon Alexander. Kwon has better numbers though. Perryman: 2 career INTs, 1 career forced fumble, 4 passes defensed, 226 tackles. Alexander: 6 career INTs, 6 career forced fumbles, 22 passes defensed, 380 tackles.

    It was reported the Bucs offered a long-term contract but less than the 10mil he is seeking. I’m going to guess that Bucs offered something in the neighborhood of 4 years at 8mil with 2 years guaranteed. We’ll know by Wednesday. Go Bucs!

    +4
    0
    Rating: +4. From 4 votes.
    Please wait...
  6. “Let them hit free agency”? Seems to me neither needed permission.

    +2
    0
    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...
  7. I likw both p,ayers but the Bucs need to quit paying to much money for average players.
    Someone mention Kwon in the Atlanta game but that was two or three years ago. He hasn’t shined like that since and I would hate to think the on,y time he can play like that is when he loses a close relative. Yikes.
    The Hump is a different matter.
    He may not take a game over but our offense isn’t designed to allow him to do so.
    Still, the guy is a gamer and a great life preserver for any QB.
    His game against the 49ers was great and if you ever watch film on him, he is always downfield trying to block someone whenever we get a ball carrier lose.
    We need Hump in the lineup much more than Brate but I would still only pay Hump $7 mill.
    The easy solution to this is to just get rid of McCoy or restructure his contract now. The Bucs designed his deal to do just that so what are they waiting for.

    +2
    0
    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...