LB Lavonte David Contemplated Retirement Before Re-Signing With Buccaneers

One of many in-house moves the Buccaneers have made this offseason was another re-up with Lavonte DavidThe All-Pro linebacker inked a one-year deal in March to set himself up for a 13th season in Tampa Bay.

That pact is worth $8.5MM, marking a raise from the previous campaign. David had a strong season individually in 2023 (134 tackles, 4.5 sacks), and that continued production helped the Buccaneers reach the postseason for a fourth straight year. That ability to qualify for the playoffs was one of the reasons he elected to continue his Bucs tenure.

As Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times notes, David also gave at least some consideration to joining a new team in the offseason. The 34-year-old acknowledged the possibility of signing with a contender ahead of 2024 “crossed my mind.” Rather than starting over in a new environment or hanging up his cleats, though, he will remain in place as Tampa Bay looks to earn David’s second career Super Bowl.

“Honestly, that didn’t take long,” he added when discussing his decision to re-sign. “I definitely still love the game of football. I still want to play and I still feel like I’m playing at a high level. I still feel like I can compete with the best and obviously the organization felt the same way. It was a no-brainer for me to come back. Us being competitive also played a main part in it.”

The Buccaneers have been busy retaining players this spring. The likes of David, Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans and Antoine Winfield Jr. have each signed multi-year deals to keep them in place. Left tackle Tristan Wirfs is in need of a lucrative extension of his own, but he will at least be in the fold for 2024 via his fifth-year option. That core should give Tampa Bay a strong chance of topping the NFC South again.

David said earlier in the offseason his choice would come down to either a new Bucs agreement or retirement. The fact he gave thought to joining a new team is a notable departure from that stance, although it comes as little surprise the Super Bowl LV winner did indeed consider ending his career. For at least one more year, however, David will add further to his Buccaneers accolades as the team pursues a deep postseason run.

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