How Much Is Lavonte David Worth Now?

July 16th, 2015

LavonteDavidNervous Bucs fans sit around chugging vodka and wondering if Tampa Bay will lock up superstar linebacker Lavonte David so he doesn’t become an unrestricted free agent in March.

Yesterday’s six-year, $101 million contract signed by Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, with $52.5 million guaranteed, didn’t help their nerves.

Yes, Joe realizes Houston is a pass rusher with 22 sacks last year playing in a different defensive scheme. But agents and players don’t think that way. Houston is a linebacker, and he’s now the second-highest paid defensive player in the NFL.

So what’s David worth these days, in the era of skyrocketing NFL salaries?

Searching to compare David to one of his fellow 4-3 linebackers, Joe thought Rams tackling machine James Laurinaitis was an interesting comparison. Laurinaitis, like David, was a second-round draft pick (2009). He’s also been slightly underrated nationally through the years (like David) but regularly lands on the NFL Top 100 list, as voted by players for NFL Network.

In 2012, after three seasons in St. Louis, the Rams extended Laurinaitis’ contract to the tune of a five-year, $42.2 million deal with about $23 million guaranteed. That was three years ago, David is just 25 years old, and seems to be a slightly better talent.

Are David’s people digging in for $10 million a year and $30 million guaranteed?

Jason Licht publicly has said a deal for David is a priority. Many Bucs fans think it’s a given that it will get done, and the Bucs have a giant pile of 2015 salary cap room. But Joe can’t be so confident. Either side could decide to let the season play out.

If Joe were David, of course Joe would sprint to sign on the dotted line for guaranteed eight figures of glorious cash. But that’s just Joe.

36 Responses to “How Much Is Lavonte David Worth Now?”

  1. RCH Says:

    He deserves at lest 40 million in guaranteed in my opinion and the Bucs better pay him.

  2. Jimbo Says:

    They could always franchise tag him if need be

  3. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    This always scares me. Over 50 million wrapped up even if the player goes down.

    It always makes the big name signings crap shoots. I know the owners have the salary cap in place to keep them from bankrupting each other and letting the Jerry Jones of the league sign all the top talent.

    But couldn’t they negotiate some kind of injury relief settlement where each team gets one or two exemptions to be used for players whose careers were ended prematurely by injury? Perhaps some kind of % of dead money in injury salaries could be added back to the cap? I just hate the crap shoot element.

    But having said that I don’t make the rules and so giving LVD 10 mill a year with 30 guaranteed doesn’t seem out of line at all.

  4. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Pay that man! Get it done.

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    With David, it is most definitely not the time to pinch pennies.

  6. 98bucsfan Says:

    At least David isn’t selfish like dez Bryant and hold out of practice and games for a new deal. This deal will get done. Don’t worry Fellow Bucs fans. We all worried about GMCs deal getting done and it did. I’m sure L&L are already talking about a new deal for him

  7. OB Says:

    I say pay him what he wants now because when this team gets it together with a real DL, sorry GMC but you are only one but a great one, and two other really good LBs, he is going to skyrocket as to performance and then his contract will be astronomical.

  8. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    No worries mates King David will receive his ransom.

  9. Tom Edrington Says:

    Houston had 22 sacks. The Bucs ENTIRE TEAM had 36.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    How much is David worth?? Depends, are we basing it on player potential, or how much he will be held back in Lovie’s passive defense (according to all starting safeties for the bucs last year) !!!

  11. Strider Says:

    I hope we win a lot so he is forced to stay here.

  12. Trubucfan22 Says:

    He is worth houston money imo. The 4-3 LB market isnt very expensive so he wont get that kind of pay day, but hes worth it for sure the entertainment value of watchin LVD play is better than all other 51 bucs players combined. love me some LVD!

  13. Armybucsfan Says:

    Pay pay the man!!! He is the best linebacker we have had since Derrick brooks. Id say an $80 million deal with $40 million guarenteed. I hope we lock him down because we cannot afford to lose him. If the coaching staff would set him loose he would have a monster season. Let’s bring home another championship. Go bucs.

  14. tampa2bucsforever Says:

    The key to any teams success is to sign and keep your star players your team drafted. If David was left to walk Licht’s career would be over. It is probably in the best interest of the owners to franchise tag him. That is considering the word is his agent may be asking for as much or more than Houston’s contract. Also I would take David over Laurinaitis any day of the week. The problem really becomes the future and how many of these huge contracts the team can pay. We have McCoy’s, hopefully David’s, Jackson’s, Mankins and in four years Winston’s new massive contract. Next year has IMO, the best FA market there has been in the past decade. The Bucs will still have after David’s contract around 40M to spend. Which should net us three top end quality players. DE, Safety and another OL. 2016 – The year of the Buccaneer!

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    It is prudent to lock in key players to long-term deals. A “face of the franchise” guy is not easily replaced as we know so well.
    David deserves the contract and I’m pretty sure the Bucs will pay him.
    Go Bucs!

  16. Dewey Selmon Says:

    They will pay him with the money they save buy cutting #83 after this year. This is Vjax’s last year in Tampa. sad but true.

  17. The original "Kevin" Says:

    Less than he will be worth at the end of the season. Sign him

  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Nole on Sat. || Bucc on Sun.

    KING DAVIDis righteous name for Lavonte David; Fits him perfect. Gotta Use that

  19. WS99 Says:

    There’s got to be something going on that we are not aware of. There must be a reason why we can’t sign any FAs or re-sign our best players. Reading that Connelly would rather retire than play for us along side his buddy mankins has my spidy sense tingling.

  20. tmaxcon Says:

    LVD would be banking a lot more if he had a head coach and DC that knew how to use him. Lovie smith has wasted a year of LVD’s playing career already. Not to mention that Lovie has cost him cash as well and a pro bowl. It’s a shame that this talented player is trapped in an outdated, ridged system coached by fools who do not know how to adjust to individual players. Players win championships NOT SCHEMES!

  21. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    I hear U bruh

  22. LargoBuc Says:

    I hope David is re signed. They just paid Mccoy. So while I want Lavonte to be a Buc for his career but until he is signed I will be skeptical. Notice we only drafted one defensive player in two Lovie/Licht drafts and that player happens to also be a will by trade. Not to mention other potential contracts coming up in the next five years. Like Evans and if Jameis turns out to be franchise.
    Im skeptical but I really hope LVD continues to play for Tampa for years to come.

  23. Pickgrin Says:

    My prediction of the new deal LD54 will ultimately agree to and sign with the Bucs is for 6 years – $56M with $35M guaranteed. Front loaded to use up about $14M of 2015’s cap space which gives him a (well deserved) big payday this year and an average of about $8.5 per year thereafter.

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    tmaxcon Says:
    July 16th, 2015 at 12:23 pm
    LVD would be banking a lot more if he had a head coach and DC that knew how to use him.

    Dude – your over the top criticism of Lovie Smith is now reaching new heights. Just stop now while you can still manage to keep some degree of dignity after this team starts winning and then keeps winning. It’s gonna happen and you are going to look pretty foolish if you keep hammering away at coach Smith like he is an utter imbecile.

    Who was the best Linebacker (and IMO the best player period) that this team ever fielded?

    And who was the coach that taught DB55 how to play this game at the pro level and coached him from a rookie to greatness?

    And in what style of defense and at what specific position did DB55 excel and become a HOFer?

    Isn’t LD54 very much like Derrick Brooks in a lot of ways regarding his skill set and ability and knowledge and his demeanor?

    Just to clarify tmax, are you really and honestly suggesting that Lovie Smith doesn’t know how to properly utilize a supremely talented Will linebacker in a Cover 2 base Defensive scheme? That he’s not capable of helping LaVonte achieve superstardom in a defense that is built specifically for a talented WLB to succeed?

    Just checking….

    Last year was last year. They tanked for Jameis and with the addition of a talented QB and a top 5 OC – this team is going to turn the corner and start winning games. Watch it happen. and then cringe at the thought that Lovie is likely to be around for quite a few years.

  25. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Thanks! I felt like I was picking on poor Tmax but your points are spot on. Now he can hate you instead of me. LOL


    how much he will be held back in Lovie’s passive defense (according to all starting safeties for the bucs last year) !!!

    You guys are really something. You’re going to listen to losers like Goldson and what’s his name with St. Louis? He made such and impression I’m struggling to remember his freaking name. Mr. Invisible…no coverage and minimal tackles.

    So let’s listen to these two while the entire Bucs SB Defense played this defense without a wimper about being held back or underutilized. Do we think DB55…Sapp and Lynch felt like Dungy/Lovie were holding them back?

    Do we believe those old Bucs or the recent FAILURES?

  26. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Trade him. Get 2-3 first rounders for him. 😛

    Or wait to pay him. Franchise if needed.

  27. Buccos Says:

    lvd is the best player on our team. He makes more of an impact on the game than anyone else. The Bucs know he is the best 4-3 LB in the game. He is the next D. Brooks. If we failed to re-sign him I would lose a lot of respect for the owners and interest in the team. He should set the market for traditional outside linebackers. He is going to have a big year!

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    David is not the best player on the team. Not even close. Gerald Mccoy is the best player, followed by Mike Evans.
    And You cant tie up to much money on a Weakside LBer. They can only have so much impact on the game-unlike QBs, DLinemen, RBs, WRs, etc- that can take over a game.
    The Greatest WLB in history, Derrick Brooks, was able to do so much- because he was a member of a fantastic Defense-that gave him room for his incredible talent to shine!
    David isnt on that Defense. He is a great player on a ( up to this point) bad defense. He has to carry the weak links- which hurts his playmaking opurtunities

    That being Said- i am a huge Lavonte David fan.unless his camp is outlandishly overpricing him- we should sign him as soon as possible. Pay the man! He, more than the majority of this team- has earned it!!

  29. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Youre a fool if you have mccoy or evans ahead of david for best player on this team. He is putting up hall of fame numbers. Mccoy is great, but not at Davids level. And evans needs to get another year or 2 before he can even be considered.

  30. Buck you83 Says:

    Yea no doubt David is a beast.And I couldn’t agree more that lovie and co will turn our bucs around.In time he will continue to add right players to run this scheme to perfection.And I’m not worried about the offense now that we have a real o coordinator calling the plays.We are witnessing the start of something special.I can see it all coming together real soon.I have always been a die hard bucs fan and havnt been this excited in over a decade
    I believe our bucs are in good hands and as long as we stay healthy our guys on offense are going to have a monster season.Asj (if he stays healthy)is my prediction for a breakout player this year.Koetter loves utilizing his tight ends and asj has all the tools to be special. And who knows we might even have a good return game finally.All the pieces are falling into .place.I think in 2016 we win the south,and will continue to do so for quite some time.It’s a good time be a Bucs fan.

  31. Buck you83 Says:

    oh and pay LVD show the young draft picks that if you play well you will be rewarded.After all that is the idea right

  32. steven Says:

    He is worth aproximitely 1 Lavonte David

  33. Capt.Tim Says:

    Last year, Lavonte David stats for 14 games
    101 solo tackles, 1 sack, 0 interceptions

    Thats hall of Fame numbers to You???
    Yeah, somebody here is a fool. And a delusional fool at that

  34. pdubzac Says:

    Whatever it takes to keep this guy you have to give it him! He is essential to our team and THE BEST player at his position (4-3 cover OLB)!

  35. gotbbucs Says:

    Exactly what Capt Tim said. David is a great player….if he’s allowed to play instinctively, which Lovie does not tolerate.

  36. ChessMaster Says:

    Von Miller has a 4 year 21 million dollar contract.