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.
PewterReport.com 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.
PewterReport.com 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.
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.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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