The news of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being over the salary cap is widely known. The team has already cut ties with or is reported to do so with Leonard Fournette, Cameron Brate and Donovan Smith. When a team pushes as much money down the road as the Buccaneers have, had decisions are inevitable.
Heading into this offseason the Bucs has 22 pending free agents. These players range from special teamers to starters like Lavonte David and Jamel Dean. So while hard decisions were expected, the consensus was the team would definitely look to retain linebacker Lavonte David, at the very least.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, David is “expected” to test free agency.
Long-time great #Bucs LB Lavonte David, coming off one of his most productive seasons, is expected to test the free agent market, source said. A return to Tampa Bay has not been ruled out, but given their cap situation, it will be challenging.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2023
As Rapoport reports, David retiring to Tampa hasn’t been ruled out. But, to let a player like David hit the open market is still noteworthy. You would think if David was a priority they’d find a way to lock him up before hitting the open market. Apparently you’d think wrong.
David was drafted out of Nebraska in the 2nd round in 2012 NFL draft. He’s been a leader on this team from day one. Yes the Buccaneers are in salary cap “hell”, but it feels like this is something that could be avoided.