This offseason, we saw nine players receive the franchise tag from their teams. Seven of them have already signed new deals, whether with their previous team (Justin Madubuike, Jaylon Johnson, Michael Pittman, Kyle Dugger, Josh Allen) or a new one via trade (Brian Burns, L'Jarius Sneed).

The only two left on the market are Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, who has requested a trade, and Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield. According to ESPN, Winfield is working toward a deal that will make him the league's highest-paid safety, and there is optimism that a deal will come to fruition before the mid-July deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign a multi-year contract.

Winfield, who turns 26 this offseason, was a second-round pick (No. 45 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft. He's coming off a year during which he was named a First Team All-Pro after finishing with a career-high 122 tackles, as well as three interceptions, 12 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, six sacks and eight quarterback hits -- all of which also marked career-highs.

He has a strong argument for being the league's best safety, and he is apparently going to get paid like it. The safety market underwent massive changes this offseason, with several starter-quality (or better) players being released by their prior teams for salary-cap reasons, and the market was thus flooded with quality players. 

But the top of the market remained steady, with Derwin James' four-year, $76 million deal with $38.6 million guaranteed leading the way. Minkah Fitzpatrick was right behind James with a four-year, $73 million contract that contains $36 million in guarantees. Winfield's franchise tag would pay him $17.1 million for the 2024 season, and teams generally use that number, plus what a player would receive on a second or even third franchise tag, to set the baseline for a contract's average annual value. That would peg Winfield's landing spot somewhere between $18.8 million and $21.7 million, which sounds about right given that he is expected to become the highest-paid safety in the league. We'll see where the final numbers come in, but it's looking like they'll be big.