It’s not often that you see a collegiate football player not miss a single game over a 4 year career, and it’s even more rare for that same person to make 44 consecutive starts while 318 tackles for number two all time on his team, along with 10 interceptions, 2 of which he returned to the house for six points.
Even rarer still, is seeing said player earn All-SEC honors in all three of his final years, while being named as a contender for both the Thorpe Award and Bronko Nagurski Award, but when you manage to rack up 76 tackles with 9 of those being for a loss, along with six passes broken up to go with 2 picks.
It’s this type of production that made safety Mike Edwards a steal as they saw him fall to them in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft. To draft a player that is a natural play maker and someone that can have an instant impact on a team in their first year, is something that the Buccaneers desperately needed on defense, especially given the struggles of the secondary last season.
That’s why it was big news when the Buccaneers announced they’d finally signed Edwards to his rookie contract. The four year deal is projected to be around $3.34 million dollars with a signing bonus of $822,000 dollars.
When you look around the league at some of the top safeties, you’ll see that they average a minimum of $4 million dollars per year, so having someone the quality of Edwards with a mountain of potential locked up for the next 4 years at less than most safeties make in one year, is a deal that not only will benefit the Bucs on the field with his immense talent, but one that will help them off the field as he should play far beyond the level of his pay which is a nice change when it comes to the salary cap.
We expect to see huge things from this guy and there’s no reason he can’t start come week 1. We just have to hope the other remaining draft picks are signed to such a cap friendly amount and have the same impact this guy will have coming out of the gate.