The defensive back out of Florida had a promising start to his career as part of Dan Quinn’s defense with the Atlanta Falcons.
Unfortunately, he suffered an ACL injury in 2018 while playing against the Philadelphia Eagles.
A year later, he had a season-ending torn Achilles tendon.
He came back healthy in 2020, but he wasn’t the same player anymore.
Last season, he was reunited with Quinn in Dallas, wherein he played weak-side linebacker.
With Tampa Bay, he will return to safety to fill the void that Jordan Whitehead left.
If Neal plays like the safety that terrorized during run defense, the Buccaneers will have a favorable bargain given his low cap count.
Keanu Neal will actually count less against the Bucs' salary cap this year ($1.0475 million) than he will against the Cowboys ($2 million from void years on deal last year). Same is true for Bucs with Logan Ryan and Giants.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) April 7, 2022
The Athletic’s Greg Auman reports that Neal’s $1.0475 million base salary this year is lower than the $2 million in dead money that the Dallas Cowboys will absorb from his void years.
However, the Buccaneers’ defensive backs should play with a chip on their shoulder because they are often the defense’s weak link.
Buccaneers Brought In Logan Ryan
Aside from Neal, Tampa Bay also acquired safety Logan Ryan on a cap-friendly deal.
The Buccaneers ranked 22nd on pass defense last regular season, surrendering 238.9 yards per game.
That’s an appalling stat if they want to win another Super Bowl with Tom Brady at the helm.
Therefore, they hope that the low-key additions in Neal and Ryan will deliver big, especially in clutch situations.