Could Kwon Alexander Return To The Buccaneers?

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Super Bowl contenders need depth in order to provide security in case of injury. If the right players are not able to step up in the absence of a starter all hopes for a championship may be dashed. Currently, Kwon Alexander is a free agent. He’s a player that could help the Buccaneers.

Draft Profile

Coming out of LSU, Alexander was hailed as a rangy sideline-to-sideline linebacker. One with quick acceleration, change of direction, and the ability to fill gaps quickly. His coaches and fellow players lauded his competitiveness. During games, it showed with each snap as he played through the whistle. Further solidifying his draft stock Alexander posted the second-best linebacker 40 time of all draft prospects (4.55 seconds).

With this in mind and the need to bolster the linebacker corps, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up four spots to grab Alexander at 124th overall in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Alexander’s Buccaneers Career

Prognosticators deemed Alexander as a special teams contributor and eventual backup to whomever drafted him.  This prediction was short-lived as he broke the Buccaneers starting lineup for his first 12 appearances in the league. Alexander amassed 93 tackles, 59 of the solo, and seven stops for loss in his rookie season. Combine these stats with 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and nine pass deflections and the Buccaneers looked to have the makings of a Pro Bowl linebacker.

Alexander got one step closer in 2016 after leading the league with 108 solo tackles (145 combined), and posting 3.0 sacks, 10 stops for a loss, and seven pass deflections.

During the 2017 season Alexander was again looking to shine. Unfortunately this is where the injury bug started to bite.  A hamstring injury sidelined Alexander for four games. Even missing a quarter of a season he had over 90 combined tackles, seven stops for loss and four pass deflections. This time, with injuries to other players it would be enough for a Pro Bowl.

In his final season with the Buccaneers and the last of his rookie contract, Alexander would tear his ACL and be out after six games on the season. At the time of his injury he was on pace to have over 90 tackles for the fourth consecutive year.

Free Agency And The 49ers

With a small amount of cap space and multiple free agents to sign, Alexander was not the top priority for the Buccaneers. After the signings of Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet, Kwon decided to take a larger deal than offered by the Buccaneers and move to San Francisco.

Alexander would sign a four-year, $54 million dollar contract.

His first season with the 49ers stated off with a bang. Quit literally! In week one against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Alexander was ejected after a helmet-to-helmet call against Jameis Winston. Plagued by another injury, Alexander would only appear in eight games during the regular season. Luckily, he returned for the playoffs and Super Bowl.

Traded Back To The NFC South

Hoping for a better 2020, Alexander started off the season as the starting linebacker for the 49ers. But as the season started to head south, it was time for the team to take a different strategy. In order to rebuild they would need two things: picks and cap space. Trading Alexander ultimately got them both. Finding a partner in the Saints, Alexander was traded for Kiko Alonso and a conditional fifth-round pick.

Continuing his season with the Saints, Alexander was not performing to the degree that he had in prior seasons. He would only play and start seven games before tearing his Achilles tendon.

Subsequently, in March 2021, the Saints released Alexander.

Free Agency 2021

As of right now Kwon alexander is still a free agent. Per the Saints Wire, he has been working out in some impressive agility drills. All while still wearing Saints gear. The presumption is the Saints would like to have him back even after drafting Pete Werner in the second round. But can they afford to?

For the Buccaneers the starting lineup is set. Lavonte David and Devin White will start in the middle of the defense. Behind them is a question mark though. Kevin minter remains and Joe Jones was brought in from Denver as a free agent. Outside of those two players there is fifth-round selection K.J. Britt and Mr. Irrelevant Grant Stuard. Two relative unknowns at this time.

The Buccaneers could use more depth at linebacker, as well as other positions. Alexander could easily be an added depth piece and rotational player as he attempts to resurrect his career.  In fact it would probably be beneficial to him. He needs to prove he can stay healthy in order to command another long term contract from someone.

Maybe he would like to play for a team that is contending for a Super Bowl. Maybe he would like to do it with the team that drafted him.

Final Thought

Though he’s a former Buccaneer and would add some great depth, I doubt he returns.

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