28-Year-Old Safety – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2017 Fantasy Football Outlook
Brought in as depth by former Bucs head coach Lovie Smith two seasons ago, Conte proved effective enough over the last pair of campaigns to return on a two-year, $5 million contract in the offseason. ...
Chris Conte Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Buccaneers in March of 2017.
Conte signed a two-year, $5 million contract with Tampa Bay on Thursday, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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Chris Conte: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The veteran safety, a protege of former head coach Lovie Smith, was nevertheless brought back by the new regime on a one-year deal in March. Conte has validated that move on numerous occasions throughout the offseason and early in training camp, frequently attacking the ball and recording multiple interceptions against the first-team offense. His hold on the starting free safety spot appears secure, which will give Conte abundant opportunity to amass his typically solid tackle numbers while also making plays on the ball from his center field position.
Conte was added this offseason in free agency as a veteran presence to help guide what is otherwise a complete youth movement. Conte started 52 games over his four years with the Bears and recorded 43 tackles and three picks in 12 games last season. The departure of Dashon Goldson should open the door for Conte to compete with Bradley McDougald, D.J. Swearinger and Major Wright for a starting safety spot.
Conte provided decent IDP production as a 16-game starter at safety in 2013, netting 89 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. However, it was his lapses in coverage that made him more of a liability at the position from a real-life standpoint, with his blown assignment on the game-winning touchdown by the Packers' Randall Cobb in Week 17 ultimately costing the Bears a playoff berth. Offseason shoulder surgery kept Conte out of OTAs and minicamp, and with the team beefing up its safety corps through free agency and the draft, he may no longer have the inside track on a starting job heading into training camp.
Conte made dramatic improvements during his sophomore campaign, nearly doubling his tackle total and chipping in with two interceptions and five pass breakups. He showed some vulnerability over the top but should continue to rank among the team's tackle leaders while causing the occasional turnover.
After nine starts where he recorded an impressive 47 tackles, Conte figures to open the year as the starter despite missing the final few games with a foot injury. He'll have a great opportunity to put up fantasy number while playing centerfield in the Cover-2 defense.
Conte is versatile enough to play both free or strong safety, but the third-round pick is going to struggle finding playing time behind starters Chris Harris and Major Wright.