Lavonte David Only Considering Re-Signing With Buccaneers Or Retiring

Last offseason, Lavonte David was interested in testing free agency before ultimately re-signing with the Buccaneers. This time around, it sounds like the veteran linebacker isn’t as eager to stretch out his free-agent process.

During an appearance on The Ronnie & TKras Show on WDAE, the impending free agent acknowledged that he’s only considering re-signing with the Buccaneers or calling it a career.

“I would want to stay a Buc for the rest of my career as long as I play,” David said (h/t Cory Woodroof of For the Win). “I do want to retire a Buc, but, y’know, it’s just got to be a mutual thing.”

After flirting with the idea of playing elsewhere last offseason, the 12-year veteran played out the 2023 campaign on a one-year, $4.5MM contract with the Buccaneers. Despite 2023 marking his age-33 season, David proceeded to have one of the most productive seasons of his career. He finished the year having compiled 134 tackles and 4.5 sacks, with Pro Football Focus rating him as the No. 28 overall linebacker.

Following his underwhelming free agency experience, David is now making it clear that it’s Tampa-or-bust heading into this offseason. The former second-round pick certainly deserves to finish his career with the Buccaneers, as it’s the only team he’s played for since entering the NFL in 2012. He ranks second in franchise history in total tackles (1,480, behind Derrick Brooks‘ 1,713), and he’s top-10 in the majority of the franchise’s other defensive categories (including first in forced fumbles).

The Buccaneers have good reason to get clarity on David’s situation as soon as possible. If the organization does not re-sign David before the start of the 2024 league year on March 13, they will be hit with a $2.67MM dead-money charge. Of course, the team’s financial hurdles aren’t nearly as troubling this year; after carrying more than $70MM in dead money this past year, the Bucs are projected to hold more than $37MM in cap space heading into the offseason.

Even with those previous monetary limitations, the Buccaneers have done an admirable job of retaining many of their top free agents. So, the front office probably won’t think twice about bringing David back for at least another season.

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