Buccaneers Secure Lavonte David For One More Year


The rumors of retirement swirled for Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David. The discussions about him going to a Super Bowl contender were plentiful.

All of that, just for Lavonte David to end up right back in the 813 for one more year.

The veteran linebacker and Miami native re-signed with the Bucs on a one-year, $9 million deal that could be worth up to $10 million with incentives, according to reporting by Rick Stroud and Greg Auman.

And thank goodness; David has been one of the best linebackers in the league throughout his time with Tampa Bay, which drafted him in 2012. Last season was no different as he graded out at a 72.7 on Pro Football Focus and finished 11th in the NFL in solo tackles.

The 34-year-old is the consummate professional, missing a ridiculously low amount of games throughout his 12-season career and earning three All-Pro selections.

The news comes after the Bucs re-signed Mike EvansBaker MayfieldChase McLaughlin, while also saying goodbye to Carlton Davis III.

Without the return of one of the Bucs’ defensive captains, there would’ve been a sizable hole at the linebacker spot without any real replacements in house; Devin White is more than likely moving on, and KJ Britt and SirVocea Dennis are more well-suited to be fringe no. 2 guys or depth pieces.

While the defense performed admirably in stretches last year with some stand-out performances from younger players like slot corner Christian Izien, defensive lineman Calijah Kancey, and pass rusher YaYa Diaby, it’s hard to imagine the group not taking a step back without their unquestioned leader roaming the middle of the field.

The Bucs could still address the position in the draft should they feel the need to, but now they can focus on taking a chance on a higher-upside player in the middle rounds instead of being forced to take an instant starter with an early pick (David was drafted in the second round in 2012).

Even if they did so, starting a rookie next to two other guys would have been a tough proposition for a team used to getting elite play from that position.

The aforementioned problem child Devin White certainly had his issues, but an argument could be made that he and David made for the best linebacker duo in football for a few seasons.

And losing both in one offseason would mean a huge change for a team looking for stability following a surprisingly successful 2023 campaign.

Thankfully, the Buccaneers can kick their linebacker concerns down the road.

Until next season, at least.

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This article originally appeared on CLTAMPA.COM and is used with permission.

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