Browns Interested In Lavonte David

Barring an extension by March 15, Lavonte David will have his first crack at free agency. After playing a key role in helping the Buccaneers win Super Bowl LV, the veteran linebacker will have a strong market.

If the Bucs let David reach free agency, the Browns should be expected to play a role in driving said market. The team has the nine-year veteran on its radar, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports.

Chris Godwin and Shaquil Barrett have been the Bucs connected to the franchise tag. While Jason Licht said the Bucs will make a strong push to retain David on a third contract, he could be eager to see what his market looks like. The Bucs have these three, along with Ndamukong Suh, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette, due for free agency.

David and the Bucs spent time negotiating a deal last year but could not come to terms. He then played out the final season of his $10MM-AAV contract. As of late February, the Browns have $20MM in cap space to the Bucs’ $13MM. Cleveland being in the J.J. Watt mix could deplete those funds in advance of unrestricted free agency’s outset, though Tampa Bay has a far more extensive group of internal free agents.

Although the Browns made their first playoff berth in 18 years last season, they ranked 25th in defensive DVOA. One of the NFL’s best linebackers over the past decade, David would check a key box for Cleveland. Going into his age-31 season, David should still be expected to command a lucrative deal. Pro Football Focus graded the former second-round pick as its No. 4 overall off-ball linebacker last season.

The Browns, according to Cabot, are also expected to be interested in Breshad Perriman, a former Ravens first-round pick who has since found better NFL footing with the Bucs and Jets. Another Rashard Higgins contract is also in play for the Browns, who have Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. signed through 2021. Perriman caught 30 passes for 505 yards last season, doing so after posting 645 yards in 2019 with the Bucs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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16 comments on “Browns Interested In Lavonte David

  1. mstrblstr2

    If you are going to state numbers that teams have to spend to sign their FA’s, then the writer should do his homework and procure legitimate numbers. The Buc’s have 26 -28 million to spend signing their FA’s and that’s before the rework a number of players contracts. By the end of the day it will be somewhere like 40 – 50 mil to resign their gotta keep players and David is considered one of those. The half wit Browns and Mary Kay Cabbot can go sniff in someone else’s backyard Bc Tampa is getting poised for another SB run and the Browns can go back to being nobodies!

    • Regi Green

      Overthecap has them at 13,and spotrac has them at 24….and you have them at 26-28….atleast their number matches up with one of the credible sites…but the cap hasn’t even been set yet,so they’re really all projections.

      • brose11168

        The poster above you clearly doesn’t understand the salary cap and the rule of 51. Yes they had 26ish mil in cap space, that was before they signed their futures contracts after the SB. So they are at 13 now with 45 players under contract. Once they sign 6 more minimum salary guys they’ll actually have around 9.5 or so in cap space. They can restructure a few guys sure but they are in rough shape.

  2. Michael Chaney

    I’d love to have him and there’s definitely a need, but I just don’t see him leaving Tampa Bay

  3. braotis1585

    They should trade for Bobby Wagner from Seattle, and then get KJ Wright in free agency. With those two there linebacking core is duct for at least two years. Seattle gonna want two 1st rounders maybe another pick and probably Njoku but it’s a deal I think both sides should do.

    • Michael Chaney

      KJ Wright is still a solid player, but there’s no way in this world that he’s worth two first rounders, let alone more on top of that. I’d be very surprised if he’s even worth one.

      Even if he was worth that, the Browns wouldn’t be the team to give that up for him. Maybe they do really like David and I’d definitely like it if they signed him, but this front office hasn’t shown much of an interest in devoting major resources to linebackers yet and they have too many needs across their defense anyway.

      • Michael Chaney

        I meant Wagner and not Wright, but my point still stands. They’re both good players and by all means are still in their primes, but I don’t see the Browns putting major resources into them (or even David).

  4. JayceInCase

    David speculation for Cleveland can only work if you suspend the reality of the Browns front office not seeing a need to pay linebackers. It seems highly unlikely they’d invest 40-ish million on an over 30 player. They’d be more apt to sign Watt on a one year deal, draft his replacement on day one and then keep drafting linebackers day two and beyond.

    • Brownsbacker9

      All indications show that the Browns will either pay a linebacker this year or draft one in the first round. Last year they spent their money on offense with Conklin and Hooper and then drafted their left tackle #1. This year will be defensive. End. Linebacker. Safety and Corner

      • JayceInCase

        That’s common knowledge that they spent on the offense last year and of course they are spending on the defense this year. Their analytics supports an opinion that linebacker is the least valued of the defensive position groups. So they will add linebackers, but not a big contract like what David would command.

        • Brownsbacker9

          Then they’ll draft one in the first round. Their defense only uses 2 linebackers so I agree that they’ll concentrate one the front 4 and back 5 more. You will definitely see them spend more money on linebackers this year than last

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