Bucs pick up Vernon Hargreaves' fifth-year option worth $9 million

TAMPA — Cornerback Vernon Har­greaves has one career interception and played in only 10 games the past two seasons due to injuries.

But the former Wharton High and Florida Gators standout apparently has shown enough promise to warrant the Bucs’ decision to pick up the fifth-year club option on his rookie contract, worth $9 million in 2020.

Tampa Bay’s 11th overall draft pick in 2016, Hargreaves started all 16 games as a rookie and got better in the second half of the season.

He finished with 76 tackles, one forced fumble, nine passes defensed and one interception but was the only cornerback in the league that year to allow more than 1,000 yards receiving.

Last year he got off to a decent start by forcing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Justin Evans in a 48-40 win at New Orleans in Week 1.

Having split time at cornerback and in the slot as a fifth defensive back, Hargreaves is expected to remain outside this season, according to coach Bruce Arians.

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