Buccaneers Rumors: Lavonte David Contract Extension Discussed Ahead of Season

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 28, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) celebrates after a stop against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Jason Behnken/Associated Press

A new contract may be on the horizon for linebacker Lavonte David in Tampa Bay.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Buccaneers have engaged in "recent negotiations" with David's camp in an effort to extend the longtime defender. Entering his age-30 season, David has spent his entire pro career with a Tampa Bay club that drafted him No. 58 overall in 2012.

David was a first-team All-Pro in 2013 and earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2015. The Nebraska alum played all 16 games last season and recorded 123 combined tackles, seven pass deflections, three forced fumbles, one sack and one interception.

According to Spotrac, David will make $10.75 million this season before hitting free agency. Spotrac assigns him a market value of $13.4 million per year on a three-year, $40.25 million contract, which would rank him as the 10th-highest-paid outside linebacker.

Getting an extension done could help the team next offseason when it'll need to complete a deal with Shaquil Barrett (currently playing on a franchise tag). The Bucs spent plenty of money on defensive players last offseason, including Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, Ryan Smith and Kevin Minter, so ensuring they re-sign the captain of that unit is vital.

David is worth the investment with Tampa Bay's Super Bowl window wide open.

The linebacker has played all 16 games in five of his eight NFL seasons and has never suited up for fewer than 13 contests in a year. Over that span, he's set franchise records for most career fumble recoveries (14), career tackles for loss (116), tackles for loss in a season (21) and fumble recoveries in a season (5).

The only thing he's yet to do for Tampa Bay is star in the postseason. That should change in 2020 with the addition of quarterback Tom Brady.

Since joining the Buccaneers, David has endured seven losing seasons and three coaching changes. As he prepares for a season with the highest expectations yet, Tampa is looking to ensure it's not his last with the franchise.