Sources: Lions acquire CB Carlton Davis III from Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded cornerback Carlton Davis III to the Detroit Lions, sources told ESPN on Monday. The Bucs will get a third-round draft pick in 2024, and the Lions will get a sixth-round draft pick in 2024 and a sixth-round pick in 2025, a source said.

Davis, 28, was scheduled to make $14.35 million against the salary cap in 2024, the final year of his contract (the Bucs had three empty years on the deal through 2027). He has missed 16 games over the past three years due to injury, and the emergence of Zion McCollum in 2023 allowed the Bucs to unload Davis' salary and free up $6.3 million in cap space.

Davis has recorded nine interceptions — with a career-high of four in 2020 — three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in six seasons. In 12 games last season, David recorded 52 combined tackles (40 solo), 2 interceptions and 9 pass breakups.

The Bucs just acquired a sixth-round compensatory draft pick — No. 220 — last week, which helped facilitate the move.

The Bucs also elected not to pick up wide receiver Russell Gage's 2024 option, which was part of his restricted deal last season, a source told ESPN. Gage was scheduled to make $10 million in 2024 and is now a free agent. Gage missed all of last season due to a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. Gage's departure was first reported by Fox Sports.

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With Davis, the Lions fill a much-needed hole on defense. Detroit's defense is allowing 23.2 points per game, ranking 23rd in the league, while allowing 7.8 yards per pass attempt, ranking 31st. One of the main areas for improvement this offseason has been upgrading the secondary by adding more talent at cornerback .

Earlier this month, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler that the Lions did not plan to tender RFA cornerback Jerry Jacobs, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Jacobs had four interceptions and 23 pass breakups in three seasons with the Lions, including 29 starts, but Detroit was looking for an upgrade.

In February, the Lions also released veteran safety Tracy Walker III to create $5.5 million in 2024 salary cap space for the Lions, according to the roster management system.

ESPN's Eric Woodyard contributed to this report

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