Next Up: Donovan Smith

October 11th, 2018

When will Bucs show him the money?

So yesterday Ali Marpet stood at the lectern in the media studio of One Buc Palace and almost seemed embarrassed.

He was only hours removed from being Tampa Bay’s newest multi-millionaire and perhaps most eligible bachelor (Joe understands such a local social status comes with quality benefits, fully endorsed by Cam Brate).

Marpet became the second offensive linemen this year to hit lottery money; the first being center Ryan Jensen.

So the logical next man up is left tackle Donovan Smith.

Smith will be a free agent after this season if the Bucs don’t slap the franchise tag on him. And with the NFL in an offensive line crisis and Smith being a complete rock of stability at left tackle, the most important position on the offensive line, it would seem the Bucs won’t tempt fate and try to replace him.

Since he was drafted in 2015, Smith has yet to miss a start.

So after Marpet’s chat for the local pen and mic club, Joe entered the locker room and approached Smith. The question was simple: “When are you getting paid?”

Smith wasn’t sure.

“You know better than me bro,'” Smith said. “That’s on [Smith’s agent]. I’m here to play. I told them talk to me when things get serious. I’m not going to have [negotiations] carrying over my head. When it happens, it happens.”

Joe would be very surprised if the Bucs moved on from Smith. But again, given how teams are desperate for offensive line help, a young left tackle who has never missed a start could break the bank on the open market.

Joe doesn’t think it is a stretch to say Smith’s camp is seeking Nate Solder money. He signed a four-year pact with the Giants in March worth $62,000,000. Too much? Well, remember, in the NFL salaries do not decrease, they increase. What some consider too high today is the going rate tomorrow and a bargain next week.

Currently 10 left tackles earn $10 million or more a year, per Smith is one of the lowest-paid left tackles in the NFL collecting some $1.5 million of Team Glazer loot and change this season.

19 Responses to “Next Up: Donovan Smith”

  1. Chris in WA Says:

    I have a feeling that they will resign D. Smith.

    The question will be how much will Kwon get being that he hasn’t been great for a while now and will either D-Jax or GMC be a salary cap cut next year? Perhaps both if they want to address other positions in FA.

    Grimes is done after this year so that is 10 mil right there. Will be an interesting off season next year.

  2. Tampaspicer Says:

    The way Kwon is playing this season he doesn’t deserve a new contract. Donovan is playing ok this season. Does he deserve to be paid top 5 LT money. No but I can see them tagging him next season if the Bucs don’t get the deal they want.

  3. John B Says:

    Can’t overpay him, need a RT next year and he isn’t on the roster- and hope Cappa can develop better than Caleb has – he is bottom tier in passblocking

    Have to draft OL every year no matter what in hop s you hit the 4 yr starter at a low cap number – you can’t pay all five over 10 mil a year

  4. Realbucfan941 Says:

    Tag is def an option but price will only go up if he stays healthy and plays the same. Unless you plan on drafting one the move would be to sign him now unless he forces your hand with top 3 money. Then I’d say you need to pass. We can’t fix the right side of the line if the left takes all the cash.

  5. Darin Says:

    Cant resign all the guys from an average line. Cant have a top 10 paid line that plays top 20. Id be surprised if they give him more than Marpet.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs have little choice but to either re-sign Donovan to a Top-5 contract or franchise tag as a less desirable option. Some ‘fans’ keep noting how Licht has got us in great shape CAP-wise; I think we’re perilously close to disaster in that area.

    Before Marpet’s new contract, Bucs had roughly $8 mil in CAP space (per ). If folks look at the CAP Numbers for each player, there’ll be some HUUUGE increases next year (but we don’t know how much the CAP will increase either). For starters, Jameis has roughly a $8 mil CAP number now; next year it jumps to about $21 mil. Marpet has about a $1.2 mil CAP number; next year it goes up by almost $10 mil. With Donovan, Kwon, Hump, and a backup QB (or at least those positions) needing to be signed, something’s gotta give.

    If the Bucs don’t focus on BUILDING THE TRENCHES, they’ll be losers for many years to come IMO. And right now, BOTH the offensive AND defensive trenches need a lot of work. That means investing $$$ AND investing draft picks. We NEED a RT & RG (Dotson, Benenoch & probably Cappa don’t cut it). We NEED 1 DT & 2 DEs (GMC’s getting older AND he’s too expensive, plus we haven’t successfully grown our own DEs in many years). And oh ya, we NEED a true, lead-dog, RB. And a true MLB (still hoping Beckwith can fill that role, but no guarantees there). But other than those minor incidentals, “How’d you like the play Mrs Lincoln?”.

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    Chris- I’m not even sure that Kwon is a priority signing anymore given his play of late. Couple that with the return of Beckwith, I just don’t see the Bucs rolling out the Brinks truck for an average MLB.
    We’re going to be facing some big salary decisions here shortly. Is Jameis the guy at $20 million? DJax? GMC? Even JPP, that guy’s salary is not guaranteed.
    To me, Smith is a no-brainer. Locking him up means you have 3 of 5 pieces needed to protect your franchise.
    Don’t forget that the cap raises almost every year. There will be some discretionary money to spend. Hopefully we’ll spend it wisely.

  8. NJBucsFan Says:

    Pass. He’s not that good of a LT

  9. isrBuc Says:

    This team is run by PR. They were blown out in chicago and needed some positive headlines on the website. Another failure and D.S will get his but I think they will go for a bigger fan fav, possibly Kwon.

  10. Grt1 Says:

    Should’ve passed on Marpet, D Smith is the priority.

  11. doolnutts Says:

    I can’t remember the last time we signed so many of our own core players to second-year extensions coming off the draft…

  12. Realbucfan941 Says:

    No way, marpet was a need. Look how one guy, CB is almost bringing this line down by himself. He lets quick pressure in a lot by a simple club, rip or swim move and the play is shot. Keep marpet in 1 spot and watch him grow.

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    Grt1 Says:
    October 11th, 2018 at 8:26 am
    Should’ve passed on Marpet, D Smith is the priority.

    I agree…..marpet hasn’t been nearly as consistent or durable as d.smith…..and LT is more important…..

    no doubt we should’ve resigned marpet but I think d.smith should’ve came first…..


  14. D-Rome Says:

    If the decision comes down between paying Donovan Smith or Kwon Alexander, it should be Donovan Smith that gets paid.

  15. Joel Says:

    Why are we keeping average lineman and paying them big time money? We need new ownership. This group of coaches and front office will be gone at the end of the season. Let the new people decide.

  16. Sunday_44 Says:

    I’m not sold on Smith or Marpet, simply because they both suck at blocking for the run, especially when asked to move to the second level or seal block.

    Do you all remember Graham bull-dozing Marpet earlier this season to blow up a run.


    That being said, I think they will continue to get better and I’m glad we got the Marpet signing out of the way.

  17. Buccfan37 Says:

    How can the salaries continue increasing when the overall attendance is reported as going down?

  18. Realbucfan941 Says:

    Yes, gate sales mean little. TV and exclusive rights deals bring the Lions share of the revenue.


    No doubt Smith needs it over Kwon. I’d rather see Beckwith at Mike.. David at Will for now… And Lynch or cichy at Sam. Sorry kwon, love the heart but he’s seemed to regress and is just another mason foster to me now. Serviceable but not 10mil which you would expect kuechly or the guy I’m drawing a blank on in Seattle.

  19. unbelievable Says:

    Agreed about Kwon. I think he’ll walk and prob sign wit a team like LA or New England who will put him in a role that plays to his strengths.

    I think they end up resigning D Smith. He’s not a top-5 tackle, but he’s prob in the top 15. Not sure how many blue-chip LT prospects are coming out in 2019. We also need to address the right side badly.

    Agree DR we really gotta build up the trenches, especially with some younger talent on defense.