The good news for Buccaneers fans is that the sun still rose over Tampa Bay this morning. Although, if there is less of a red glow noticeable, it might have something to do with the absence of the bright, red-colored locks of one Kwon Alexander.
Drafted in the fourth round (124th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft, the linebacker from LSU made an immediate impact on the Buccaneers’ defense. He brought high intensity and a tenacity for attacking the football that he displayed in his rookie season.
He played his final year, 2018, under his rookie contract that paid him $2.75 million with a signing bonus of $488,322. Even after tearing his ACL in week seven (7) of the 2018 season, Alexander remained quite active. He frequently shared updates via his Twitter account of the rehabilitation process he was working through.
Playing at the MIKE (middle) linebacker position, Alexander was quite the complement to veteran linebacker Lavonte David. The pair often made highlights during a season that was short on them.
You would be hard pressed to find Buccaneers fans who would disagree with this young man testing the market and capitalizing on signing a contract like the one offered by San Francisco on Monday. News was that the team had offered him both a short (one year) and a structured (longer term) contract.
Linebacker Kendell Beckwith, suffering from a broken ankle received in a car accident in 2018, has a physical looming. So there are definite questions to be answered by Buccaneers GM Jason Licht and his staff.
The four-year, $54 million contract San Francisco offered him must mean they loved what they saw from Alexander’s recovery. The Bucs surely did love what they saw from Kwon here in Tampa Bay. The price though was too steep.
Now HC Bruce Arians and DC Todd Bowles will continue putting their plans in place for the 2019 Buccaneers defense. Now those plans will be minus one middle linebacker who roamed the field for the last four years. But the sun will still rise over Tampa Bay and maybe will shine even brighter.