Donovan Smith Talks Injuries, Streak, Contract

December 31st, 2018

Joe got 1-on-1 time with Donovan Smith today and the big fourth-year tackle cleaned out his locker at One Buc Palace.

Yes, the Smith haters are out there and loud. And Smith knows all about you and how he’s viewed by a lot of fans and media.

But there’s the other side of Smith that often gets glossed over. He has upside to his game and his durability means lot to him. His ironman streak as a starter stands at 64 games.

It’s easy to forget he had a knee injury in training camp that threatened his availability for opening day. Smith said his body said he probably wouldn’t make it to New Orleans but his mind wouldn’t go there.

“I really didn’t think my streak would be in danger. Thank God it happened when it did in preseason so I could get an extra week and a half, two weeks of doing nothing to get it back healthy,” Smith said. “That really helped out. I was here three or four times a day in rehab to get it right. This whole season I wasn’t 100 percent, and I don’t think anybody is or was, but that’s just the game.”

The streak is a point of pride for Smith, who doesn’t like to miss a practice snap, either.

“It’s huge. Lotta miles on my body. It’s a great milestone, just gotta keep going,” Smith said.

As for getting paid by the Bucs as a free agent, Smith said there’s nothing in the works and now that the season is over he’ll have the time to dive into the business side of thing with coaches.

What’s next for Smith, Joe believes, likely comes down to what the next head coach wants. But among the list of the Bucs’ desired upgrades, Joe suspects Smith is far down the totem pole. Plus, the Bucs can always franchise him for next season, roughly $15 million, and see how/if Smith raises his game with fresh coaching.

34 Responses to “Donovan Smith Talks Injuries, Streak, Contract”

  1. SteveK Says:

    @ #5 overall: Jonah Williams/ Greg Little and see if we want to match a FA offer for Smith? He’s not getting 15 per and not worth giving his camp the leverage of a franchise tag.

  2. danr Says:

    i don’t think we can franchise both him AND Humphreys.

    we have to at least choose to address one of them.

  3. zzbuc Says:

    Well, at least from the TV or at RJ Stadium, what I see is a guy who doesn´t care to much…….This new kids seem to have that kind of virus and play first for the money second for them and third for the team…….We need a new coach with an old school type of regime……The team is always first, if thats not the case, well go and play tenis or golf or gymnastics……….People like Evans,Marpet, Brate, Hump, JPP, Kwon, Lavonte, Brate, OJ just get it……some people like Smith, Grimes, Baker, obviosuly the list is much bigger…. just don´t…..

  4. ClwJB Says:

    Let him walk and draft OT at #5 period

    Not only will we get a talent upgrade, we will save about $10 mil in cap space…

    He and Caleb have got to be upgraded – spend the saved money on a real RG, lett Cappa be depth and develop another year of strength

    Let Dotson and Wester battle it out for RT, draft a RT round 3

    Day after the season and already on the draft predictions…it’s a BUCS life!!!

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’d draft a left tackle and negotiate the best I could with D. Smith…..but he’d have to play RT or RG or even LG if Marpet moves back to RG…..
    At the very least pay as little as possible for Smith and draft a RT…..

    I think the wild card on our Oline may be Cappa……is he starter material? Let’s hope so.

  6. tnew Says:

    Love the idea of franchising Donovan Smith.

  7. tnew Says:

    Need a new tackle, yes. Donovan Smith walking isn’t a great plan. A new coach might see this guy could be a pro bowl left guard. Putting him at tackle just emphasises his weaknesses in space. He is a close quarter type of player. Really dominates when he doesn’t have to play in space versus speed.

  8. MarkV Says:

    Joe, you write like you’re Donovan’s campaign manager. His streak is admirable, but he is NOT worth a $15 million “let’s see if he finally figures it out” deal. He’s had both good games and bad, but it’s that inconsistency that makes him an average LT at best. Too many holes on this team to invest large cap dollars on him. Franchise LTs are hard to find, but we better keep looking because he hasn’t convinced many people in this town that he will ever be one.

  9. BucEmUp Says:

    He seems content with losing. His durability is great, but is that due to never going full 10%? He just always seems happy whether its a win.or a loss. I dont like that attitude.

    Unfortunalty it will probably change when he goes to.another team..This is why coaching matters more than most people think. Someone wilk get the most out of this guy hopefulky its here in Tampa.

  10. BucEmUp Says:

    TBBF YES! I eoukd move him over but I think someone else will pay him to be a LT. Smith may be LT, i think eveyone would agree that Warhop needs to go.

  11. 813bucboi Says:

    greg little would work in a trade down….j.williams, greg little, ed oliver or quentin williams are the players we need….we must get 1 of them in the first round….


  12. Darin Says:

    Exactly. Gota work the cap. No way he should get a contract. The 5th overall pick helps alot too. Could be a nice trade down spot for a qb and pick up more picks. Try to get the LT in the first round. Should upgrade and save money. Gona be interesting with the new coach and draft. Licht might not always pick the right players but he can work the cap and draft. He knows smith isnt worth it or he’d already be signed.

  13. Danny Says:

    Watching his effort on a weekly basis is terrible. I’d be totally fine letting him walk.

  14. SteveK Says:

    We have a chance to draft one of:

    Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Ed Oliver, Jonah Williams, or Greg Little

  15. Danny Says:

    Greg Little has all the issues of Donovan Smith (motivation, effort, consistency, etc.)

  16. The Real Malloy Says:

    We are NOT going to franchise Hump. He would command Mike Evans money for one season. He’s great, but he’s not top 3 WR money.

  17. firethecannons Says:

    I would rather see this dude study his film on game day and put some of our young tackles in as replacement, certainly in games that we are blown out — we should of replaced him. Perhaps our young tackles would of been impressive, I want someone who plays with motor and not someone conserving themselves for the long run. He is garbage often–more time than not and Jameis got hammered in Dallas because of his lazy technique, lack of motor and durability. Now we are likely to sign this lazy ass loser to a long contract and it will get worse if that is even possible.
    Heh Donovan Smith–your durability means NOTHING!

  18. firethecannons Says:

    agree completely–if we keep this guy, he needs to be made to play guard–that has potential–it would work if he was on board–he cannot handle the speed on the edge and he would likely be very hard to move but yet has strength to move defensive players.

  19. TOM Says:

    Let him walk & sign Hump. Jonah Williams 1st pick if available.

  20. Cobraboy Says:

    A new coach will have a new OL coach. That is badly needed.

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    Tough call. Franchising D. Smith for 1 year might be the best route. Bucs are in no position to let their best OT walk right now. Yet guaranteeing Smith big $ for multiple years in hopes that he will improve is the worst idea of all.

    Franchise Smith for 2019 and draft his replacement in the 1st round!

  22. Topcoach1978 Says:

    Good excuse for being trash lol I wasn’t 100% what good is it to be durable but weak and slow as hell at the LT position protecting the so called franchise guy! GTFOH!

  23. GoBuxFla Says:

    Keep Humphries, offer Smith back up money or let him walk. He couldn’t block an old lady on a Hoveround at a Walmart in the clearance section.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Could see re-signing Donovan for as much as say $10 mil per year on a 4-year contract … BUT as a Left Guard, NOT as a Left Tackle. IF he doesn’t want that, piece of cake, he won’t sign the contract.

    Donovan has 3 things going for him: (1) he’s BIG; (2) he’s STURDY; and (3) he already knows LT so he could slide back over there in a pinch IF injuries require. Question is “Is what he brings to the table worth $10 mil a year?” Given the poor state of our OLine at the present time, I believe it is. Why the Bucs didn’t at least try him at Guard this year still blows my mind.

    Might sound crazy, but I also believe it’s worth it to keep Evan Smith in the fold for now. Bucs have tons of other problems, and having a reliable backup Center & Guard (like Evan is) solves one issue rather inexpensively IMO.

    Would love to see next year’s OLine look like: LT (#5 pick in draft); LG (Donovan); Center (Jensen); RG (Ali); RT (experienced FA pickup) with Evan Smith, Dotson, Wester & possibly Cappa (or Liedtke) in reserve. That’d give us (hopefully) a stout starting OLine (especially in the middle) with a mix of experienced & youth backups.

  25. stpetebucsfan Says:

    This is the same position we’re in with JW. #3 has shown sooo much promise…yet so much adversity and poor play that nobody feels truly comfortable making that FINAL decision.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if JW turned out great or is a total bust…but I can’t see total bust just yet and we might as well try one more year with Jameis at QB since there really aren’t any ready replacements anyway.

    I feel the same way about Smith. Sometimes he looks awesome…other times…loses concentration. One more year franchised or whatever might be the FINAL look we really need with him as well as JW.

    What’s kind of cool is that our opinions won’t mean squat…there’s going to be a new coach who WILL have some definite opinions. Can’t wait to read about them.

  26. tnew Says:

    starting to see this Franchising Humphries thing in many places. The WR franchise tag is 16 mil per year. No chance. Pay him 3 years at 16-18 million and done. Place incentives (works like a charm for guys like him) that sends him into the mid 20s if he makes a pro bowl.

    The line positions are more interesting. Donovan Smith does a bunch of things well and one thing really poorly. He doesn’t work well in space. LT’s must work well in space. His tape is really good in close quarter work.

  27. gotbbucs Says:

    Sadly, there’s two other positions on the o-line that need to be upgrade worse than left tackle.
    Our best right guard is playing left guard and our right tackle has to be upgraded. Dotson kick slides on every single pass play as if he’s going against the best speed rusher in the game. All he does is open up for inside moves and allows DT’s and LE’s to run pass rush games that should easily be stopped.

    Smith will get the tag and lord willing this group will have an offensive line coach that knows how to coach offensive linemen. Somehow JR Sweezy couldn’t play for this group but managed to play at a Pro Bowl level at LG for the Seahawks this year.

  28. Evo2706 Says:

    I say put Smith at RG. He’s slow enough and strong so why not try him inside? His “lazy feet” won’t be as obvious there.

  29. Dooshlarue Says:

    Franchise Hump, Donovan move to G, trade down and get Marcus Applefield and then load up on DL with the extra picks.

  30. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    We’re not going to franchise Humphries. That would be huge money for a #3 WR. He’ll get a 3 or 4 year deal for 4-5 million per. Tell DSmith if he wants to stay he’ll have to move to RT or RG. If he doesn’t like it, see ya. His effort is lacking and stops trying to block after he gets beat, even if Winston is still scrambling. He could have helped make a tackle in Dallas after his guy stripped Winston if he wasn’t a loaf. He never even made an attempt to block when he thought the defense was offside and just looked at the refs and pointed to the D lineman and let Winston get rocked. If I was Jameis I would have told him to have a seat after that embarrassing play.

  31. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Let him go, or move him to the right side. He is way too vulnerable to speed rushers, and has Jameis running for his life, way too often.

  32. Fire Light Says:

    Humphries isn’t that big of a deal. He’s not work a franchise tag. Come on people wake up!

  33. Hodad Says:

    His streak of holding penalties, and giving up sacks is still intact too!

  34. Maze Says:

    Average at best