The Buccaneers and GM Jason Licht made a bit of a splash on Tuesday afternoon. As it was announced by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the team had agreed to a new three year contract with left tackle Donovan Smith. The deal that is worth $41.25 million ($27 million guaranteed), is a demonstration that availability is a valued asset on the offensive line.
All he has done since being drafted by the Buccaneers in 2015 out of Penn State is start 64 straight games. Which is one of the most physically demanding positions on the football field.
With the talent of the defensive ends in the NFL and the way defensive coordinators use linebackers on the outside to apply pressure, offensive tackles are worth their weight in gold. For a right handed quarterback like Winston, his backside protection must be priority number 1.
So the Buccaneers locked up 6 ft 6 in, 338 lb’s of solid gold, inking Donovan Smith to a new deal and avoiding the use of the franchise tag. Some have debated Smith’s value due to what has been described as a ho-hum run blocking game.
Then again, an optimist would point out that as important as run blocking is, in the no risk it, no biscuit offensive philosophy, protecting the arm so it can make the throws is priority #1.
So what is the next move for the Buccaneers? Do they re-sign a mending linebacker who will first dip his toes in the free agent waters?
Will they try and find a way to keep a dynamo in the slot that is deserving of a big raise?
Does the team have its sights set on one of the free agents who will be available for contract negotiation as of next week?
Hold on tight football fans, the fun is just getting started. Whether the next five weeks brings splashes across the bow, or tidal waves over the stern, GM Jason Licht will have his hands planted firmly on the wheel. And the course of the ship will become clear in due time. Just remember the Bucs Report will be covering it all for you, so stay tuned.