When teams draft a stud player, they do everything in their power to keep them. That precedent is no different for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have extended huge contracts to home grown talent in the past.
All-pro linebacker Lavonte David is no exception. After this season, he will be in need of a new extension. There were whispers before the season started, but nothing has materialized yet.
Ron Butler, Lavonte David’s agent, was on Sports Talk 49 with Blake Anthony to discuss the possibility of a new deal.
“Our goal is to retire as a Buccaneer”.
This is good news for Buccaneers fans. David has been one of the best defensive players in the league since he was drafted in 2012.
Under the Cap
The Buccaneers likely have a number they won’t exceed, and Butler has his that he won’t go below. That number is a mystery at the moment, but we can make some educated guesses looking at historical data.
Bobby Wagner is currently the highest paid inside linebacker, making $18 million a year. Behind him is C.J. Mosley ($17 million), Zach Cunningham ($14.5 million), and Myles Jack ($14.25 million).
Given his age, I don’t think David will reset the linebacker market, but his play has not dropped off in the slightest. His 34 solo tackles are tied for eight in the league, and it doesn’t look like he will be slowing down anytime soon.
I expect David to be due around $15-$17 million a year moving forward. And I know what you are already thinking; How will the Buccaneers make him fit within the salary cap with other contracts expiring shortly?
Well, Donovan Smith will likely see the door in 2021, saving $14.25 million. Ndamukong Suh is not worth his $10 million price tag, and Rob Gronkowski will need to take a pay cut if he expects to stay on the roster.
The Buccaneers will have to make some decisions, but you can absolutely extend Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, and Shaq Barrett.
Lavonte David is still in the prime of his career, letting him go would be a mistake in my eyes. I believe he will return in 2021, and show the world that he still is the best linebacker in the league.