Lavonte David is Staying in Tampa Bay
Long-time Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David will officially not be on a different team this season. The Buccaneers have resigned David to a one year deal worth up to seven million dollars.
Entering his twelfth season, it became clear that Lavonte David would be testing free agency for the first time in his career. The Buccaneers are in cap hell, currently 48 million dollars above the limit. The consensus was that they likely could not have resigned David if they wanted to. The Buccaneers finding a way to resign him will now keep the tandem of Lavonte David and Devin White together for at least one more season.
Although currently 33 years old, Lavonte David is still one of the best players in the league at his position. He had one of the most productive seasons of his career in 2022. Compiling 123 total tackles, three sacks, and was PFF’s second-highest graded off-ball linebacker in coverage. David has been a consistent pest for opposing quarterbacks with his coverage ability and high motor. Tampa Bay will not need to fill the role of a high quality player like David as soon as expected.
New Era in Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay’s team and city became rejuvenated upon the arrival of Tom Brady in 2020. The G.O.A.T. joined what was a very talented, but also very undisciplined team. Players like Lavonte David, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin had already been with the team for a while. Brady undoubtedly brought structure to the team’s offense and the entire organization. He won his seventh Lombardi trophy and fifth Super Bowl MVP in his first season as a Buccaneer. The retirement of Tom Brady means that Tampa Bay’s offense will look very different next year. Tampa Bay signed Baker Mayfield to a one year contract this morning. The Buccaneers will rely heavily on their defensive stars to keep together an offense that saw a large drop in production during 2022.
Brady receives much of the credit for Tampa Bay’s turnaround and rightfully so. The role of the best linebacker duo over the last four years, Lavonte David and Devin White, does not always get enough credit. The pair have been the glue that held together one of the league’s best defenses. A defense that had Patrick Mahomes running for his life for the entirety of Super Bowl 55. Keeping their defense together for one more year will definitely help their offense find its footing.