The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made a contract offer to pending free agent middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, but barring a sudden change in negotiations that leads to a signed agreement, the team will likely let Alexander test free agency next week. Appearing on the Ronnie and TKras Show on 95.3 WDAE, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Bucs have offered Alexander a long-term contract extension after he tore his ACL against Cleveland last year. cannot confirm that the offer was a long-term extension. Because of his injury, Tampa Bay had desired a short-term deal with Alexander to safeguard the franchise in case Alexander suffered a setback or was not the same player following his ACL tear. has learned that there is some distance between what the Bucs have offered and what Alexander and agent Drew Rosenhaus are seeking. Therefore, Tampa Bay is willing to let Alexander test the free agent market and remains hopeful that because of the relationship between Alexander and general manager Jason Licht that Alexander and Rosenhaus will bring any offers back to Tampa Bay to allow Licht and director of football administration Mike Greenberg the opportunity to match.

The Bucs are in a precarious situation at linebacker with the team’s move to a 3-4 base defense under new coordinator Todd Bowles with Alexander’s injury, which is expected to sideline him until at least the start of training camp. Kendell Beckwith, the team’s third-round pick in 2017, suffered a fractured ankle last offseason that could be career-ending, and Jack Cichy, Tampa Bay’s sixth-round pick last year, tore his ACL in the same Cleveland game as Alexander suffered his injury in.

Whether or not the Bucs re-sign Alexander, that won’t preclude Tampa Bay from drafting a linebacker early this year – perhaps LSU’s Devin White – with the fifth overall pick.

Alexander was a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and has become a four-year starter in Tampa Bay. He has started all 46 games he has played in, recording 380 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 22 pass breakups, seven sacks, six interceptions, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown. Alexander has only started 16 games once in his career, which was in 2016 when he had a career-high 145 tackles, including an NFL-high 108 solo tackles. Alexander made his first and only Pro Bowl the following season.

Alexander has missed 18 games in his four years, including a four-game PED suspension during his rookie season and 10 games last year following his ACL tear.

You can listen to Rapoport’s interview with 95.3 WDAE below.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years 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:
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Easythe great
2 years ago

If he’s wanting 10-12 million a year thats just laughable. I’d rather sign Jordan Hicks if he’s interested in coming here.

Reply to  Easythe great
2 years ago

Hey easythe great, I totally agree! I actually even have that in my battle plan. I love Kwon, but being injured and asking for that much $ is ridiculous. In my battle plan, I don’t even negotiate with Kwon, I just let him walk and sign the cheaper Hicks!

2 years ago

Regardless, I’m really on the Devin White hype train. That guy is going to be beast in this league. The Bucs CANNOT pass him up. If we don’t get him, then I’d like to get Greedy Williams to help out our poor secondary. But I think we could trade down and still get one of these guys, and gain some picks. P.S. LSU making some good LBs haha.

Reply to  JonNotJohn
2 years ago

If the Bucs cannot get White at no. 5, or wherever they trade down to, I would say grab D Bush who might be close to the same caliber of player as D White. LB has become the no. 1 priority with Beckwith status in doubt, and I hate that because I thought he had huge potential if he was healthy.

2 years ago

If hes asking for more than 9 mill abyear, let him walk. Not worth it. Sign CJ mosely if you’re going to spend big money. Hes actually worth is and not coming off an acl Injury.

2 years ago

There are actually quite a few solid FA LB’s that will be available starting next week, many that have 3-4 experience. While it is a need, the fact that we’ll be in nickel and dime with four D-lineman close to 70% of the time means that four LB’s aren’t on the field as much as many perceive. Most of the time it will probably be only 2-3, depending on the D sets.

Alldaway 2.0
Reply to  FLBoy84
2 years ago

Right realistically the Bucs need to add 2 inside LB’s and they would have something to work with on defense. Remember also that Spence is moving to OLB as well.

Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
2 years ago

Not feeling what you’re feeling about Spence. To me he’s plays stiff and not sure if he can be flexible enough to move around in a 3/4. Just my opinion.

Alldaway 2.0
2 years ago

Good luck Kwon but the Bucs can’t afford to pay $9-10 mil for a LB that has a lot of question marks still.

2 years ago

Spend the money on CJ Mosely. Go OL in the draft. Makes so much sense I doubt it happens.

Alldaway 2.0
2 years ago

With Mosley and Hicks out there I am not sure what Drew Rosenhaus is expecting from the Bucs regarding Kwon’s offer?

If the Bucs are smart and patient they can land a quality LB via free agency withotu overpaying.

2 years ago

We’re giving D. Smith $14mm because apparently we have to! And we’re keeping dead weight GMC at $13mm because, well, somebody wants to even though he’s done. Yet we have a strong MLB in his prime that we’re not willing to sign because we’re now going to draft Devin White. This is just stupid.

Jason Licht – be a GM and figure out the deal. Resign Kwon and use the draft to ADD to our roster of building blocks rather than have to substitute new players for a guy that should be a 10 year Buc.

2 years ago

You don’t pay $10 for a pound of hamburger when you can drive across the street and get the same quality of meat for half as much.

As far as I know, the only people who have been enamored with Kwon’s body of work have been the Tampa Bay media.

Although I like and prefer Kwon’s leadership and passion over the enigmatic Gerald McCoy, I don’t think those qualities are worth $10 million a year coming off a major injury.

2 years ago

Dear drdneast I wouldn’t want you for my doc if you’re going to refer to me as hamburger. )().

Reply to  inspecto
2 years ago


2 years ago

I’m torn…I love Kwon and would hate to see him go. At the same time though, it wouldn’t make sense to throw a lot of money at a player known for his sideline to sideline ability, coming off an ACL injury. Hopefully after testing the waters of FA he will come back at a more reasonable price.