JJ Wilcox Traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers


Wilcox signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers this offseason after spending his first four seasons in the league with the Dallas Cowboys, but was traded along with a 2019 seventh-round draft pick to Pittsburgh in exchange for a sixth-round selection in next year's draft, the team announced Sunday. The move created a roster spot for safety T.J. In next Sunday's season opener he'll kick in the same stadium where he missed three field goal attempts for the Browns previous year when they lost to Miami in overtime.

As reported by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Buccaneers will acquire a 2018 6th-round pick for Wilcox and a 2018 7th-round pick. He signed with Tampa Bay shortly after the draft in early May.

Wilcox, 26, was paid $1.8 million last season with the Cowboys in the final year of his rookie deal.

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Mike Mitchell is the established starter at free safety for the Steelers, but he's been banged up this preseason and Wilcox both adds depth and gives them a security blanket if Mitchell's injury lingers.

It's still not clear whether this means Conte will start alongside Ward, or if the team will instead let Ward learn the system for a few weeks while Keith Tandy and Conte hold things down as starters. Wilcox was seeing action as the third safety in the Bucs' "big nickel" packages, however. Ward, whom the Bucs signed to a one-year deal worth up to $5 million after he was released by the Denver Broncos on Saturday, also has that strength, along with coverage skills and experience as a three-time Pro Bowler.

He was a member of the Dallas Cowboys for the first four seasons of his career and tallied 49 combined tackles with an interception past year.