Replacing Donovan Smith?

February 23rd, 2020

Playing for his career in 2020?

Very interesting peek into the future of the Bucs offensive line.

Jenna Laine of ESPN wrote a list of positions the Bucs may want to target in April’s draft. She, like a lot of folks, think the Bucs could use an upgrade at tackle, specifically right tackle since it seems the Bucs may wave goodbye to incumbent Demar Dotson, who is a free agent.

Included in her details about potentially drafting a tackle, she mentioned how left tackle Donovan Smith may have little job security.

Right tackle Demar Dotson is a free agent and nearing the end of his career and the Bucs aren’t sold on Donovan Smith as a long-term solution at left tackle, which creates a need for a starting right tackle who could possibly be groomed into a starter at the left spot. Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton and Houston’s Josh Jones are considered the top five prospects at the position.

Whoa! So the Bucs may move on from Smith? Now Smith has guaranteed cash for this season. He’s not going anywhere this year. But after this year, that’s a different story.

Could the Bucs be looking at drafting a tackle to start on the right side and have him flip to the left side next year?

Joe thought Smith had his best season in 2019. You saw a lot fewer issues about him appearing not to play to the whistle, which used to be big knock from his detractors (though his own position coach suggested he takes plays off).

So is 2020 a make-it-or-break-it season for Smith? And could the Bucs draft, say, Louisville freak Mekhi Becton to groom him to replace Smith in 2021?

43 Responses to “Replacing Donovan Smith?”

  1. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    That would be pretty stupid honestly. unless he lays a total egg this year there is no reason to cut him. people think we should be saving cap by doing hairbrained things like cutting Jensen. yes lets cut the really good center and replace him with a second round pick IF that.

    In the past I was one of his harsher critics. But honestly his performance this year won me over and I am fine with him being on this team for years to come.

    as far as draft goes. I 100% think it would be within the teams best interest to draft Tristan Wirfs to replace Dotson and sign the D line.

  2. tmaxcon Says:


    You have zero standards….. do you simply fall head over heels over every lazy overpaid bum on the bucs roster. Hanging onto mediocrity is why bucs routinely go decades between meaningful wins.


    d smith is a bi product of a cancer93 infected locker room. No one sucked the life and will to be great out of players the way captain blowout the face of the basement years did. He ruined a lot of players and coaches over the years. Total fraud that fleeced glazers and low standard bucfan.

    Cancer93 has bright future teaching the art of quitting

  3. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    TBB- I agree. Smith was solid this year and he rarely misses playing time. Something you need ion the line. We need another tackle. I think Dot should provide depth. Bring in sone competition for Cappa and the line is strong.

  4. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Tmax why do you even come here if all you do is tell people how dumb they are?

  5. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    hmmmmmmmmm not allowed to respond to certain people by name according to the mod filter…….
    GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    while I am here I will start acting like realist since he hasn’t said it yet

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    also certain users should probably get back to their night shifts instead of being on here

  6. Swampbuc Says:

    Another maroon that reads the twaddle and parrots the narrative. Stupid.

  7. Swampbuc Says:

    I meant Jenna Horseface Laine.

  8. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Exactly what I’ve been saying. Go after a LT not a RT. In college the LT is supposedly, more times than not, 99% of the time, better than any RT. Let the new pick and D. Smith battle it out for LT during TC and the runner up takes RT.
    If the rookie beats out Smith and we move Smith moves to RT, it’s a win, win.
    Also make a deal with Dotson to remain with the team as the backup RT.

  9. JP_09 Says:

    Yeah but how can a RT switch to LT if a LT can’t switch to RT… According to some the tackle position are not interchangeable.

    If this is the case, Draft your LT and MOVE SMITH TO RIGHT TACKLE

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    I was very harsh judging Donovan Smith but this was his best year by a mile. He earned that big paycheck and was so much better. He played hard against some great DE’s. If he puts another season on tape like last season, he should be kept. He’s not the best in the league but he could be in 2020’. More running and more weight lifting and he will be better. A lot depends on if he’s training now or lounging around. I hope every single Buccaneer is working their tale off right now. January is rest and heal up but they should all be Stretching and training full on right now. That’s if they want to win. Limber bodies can endure more punishment. Oorah!

  11. BigMacAttack Says:

    First round pick is read the board and maybe drop a few spots to add a 2nd round pick. Grab a right tackle, running back and safety. Grant Delpit is the One player in the draft I want. He’s going to be a really good.

  12. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    The thing about this draft is it’s really top heavy with OT’s aside from that nothing. also there is a chance the team just says F it and draft delpit cause bowles falls head over heels for him.

  13. NOLES Says:

    Delpit doesn’t like to tackle which is weird for a Safety. Especially on Tsmpa.. lynch set the Bar & if you play safety you have to like hitting.

    It’s not like CB.

  14. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Where is that guy Bucboy? This article literally what I said yesterday that he said was stupid. I would keep Smith if we can afford him beyond 2021 but his deal is essentially over this year. Last season the writing was on the wall. Our biggest need was CB even though we recently drafted 2. When the bucs went CB in 2 & 3 most JBFers complained. This year we need a tackle. We may need another tackle next season. In a draft that is heavy with tackles you better get one or 2.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It makes no sense to fill a need, then recreate the same need next year. It also makes no sense to get rid of Smith before his contract is up.

    Draft a good Right Tackle (or sign one), then address whichever position we lose on the defensive line.

    They won’t draft safety or runningback in the first two rounds, because they don’t feel either is nearly as big a need as you all do.

    Rojo is good enough for what Arians wants, and Barber bet on himself and lost. He can be re-signed on the cheap for depth now. The running game will never be great under Arians, because his is a vertical offense.

    And though the might draft safety in round three or later, round three is more likely going to be traded or spent on a backup QB that Arians feels can be developed into Plan B.

    Plan A is to role with Winston, at least for 2020.

    Things might change if Tua Tagovailoa falls to us…and there is a chance that happens. His injuries were a question, and now he has publicly stated he’ll need to sit and ‘rest up’ a year. Most teams who need a QB need one now. But we’ll have settled the Winston decision for 2020 by then (probably a franchise)…giving us a year for Tua Tagovailoa to rest and learn the offense.

    Winston will get one more chance to prove himself under Arians, assuming he doesn’t get a longer-term deal.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    WhatTheBuc Says:
    “[Last year] Our biggest need was CB even though we recently drafted 2. When the bucs went CB in 2 & 3 most JBFers complained.

    This year we need a tackle. We may need another tackle next season. In a draft that is heavy with tackles you better get one or 2.”

    In the end last year, we really needed only one CB…but I guess we needed quality depth too.I

    I could get behind taking two tackles in this draft. Dotson went through a period when he was injured every year, and we could use to depth, along with a backup plan in case the first one doesn’t pan out.

  17. ModHairKen Says:

    Donovan is not that good. Can’t run block. Slow. Gives up. Part of the fraud with Marpet. Finish out this year and let him go.

    Why do so many fans fall in love with pieces of a losing team?

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Bonzai … Agree with you on Donovan, but do think we’ll draft a Tackle in Rnd 1 IF one of the Top-4 falls to us (Josh Jones isn’t as good as Wills, Wirfs, Thomas or Becton most seem to feel). I believe all of them can play LT, so that gives us a bonafide backup in case of an injury to D Smith. Other than that, we’ll go DLine.

    Can’t see the Bucs drafting a QB this year, UNLESS one that BA loves falls into our laps. And since he’s not keen on rookie QBs, not sure he’d pull the trigger even then (Tua just might fall to us, but I don’t think that BA would draft him even if he did). I think Jameis will be here for at least 2020, although I’d still love to see a trade for Derek Carr happen.

    Also agree with you about RoJo & Barber (assuming that he’ll re-sign on the cheap). Given our historic problems in the running game though, surely BA will draft a RB someplace in Rnds 2-3 who complements RoJo. Can’t see the Bucs spending a high pick on a Safety though (we NEED to grab a veteran Safety to act as a Field General for all our youngsters back there).

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    Just another ignorant ESPNer trying to sound “insider.”

    I doubt Smith is going anywhere.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    When is the last time Licht drafted an Olineman in round 1?……….as a matter of fact, the last time the Bucs drafted one was 14 years ago in 2006….Davin Joseph…
    Now, that’s not to say that I wouldn’t be happy with one this year…..I think it all depends on the QB situation and what players are available at 14……RT is definitely a need…..

  21. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Smith will definitely be our starter in 2020. I don’t think anyone is debating that. In 2021 Smith will be looking for guaranteed money. This is especially true if he has another above average season. If we don’t have another option in place this year, Smith will have all the leverage. He could hold out 2021 knowing that there’s no competition. Sure bucs can force him to honor his 2021 contract but what will you be getting. Conversely, if Smith is injured or plays poorly, he can be cut next season if there is a viable option to replace him. Bottom line is we need at least 1 but likely 2 tackles in the draft or free agency.

  22. Allbuccedup Says:

    Pittsburgh has negative cap space all their space will be required to sign their defensive tackle. Matt Feiler young good right tackle is a RFA a solid offer to him could lure him away from the Steelers. Mike Hilton is a defensive back and is a RFA the Bucs could two young players at a low cost. Open your eyes Jadon Licht.

  23. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I really hope Kinlaw falls to us in the first round. Josh Jones, Austin Jackson and a couple of others could fall to us in the second round. Also, we are trying to fill the RT position specifically which is quite a bit easier than the LT spot. I am not even sure who the best pure RT is this year. All of these top tier guys I am sure played mostly LT in college. If we were moving Smith to the right and using the rookie on the left side I would say use that first rounder on one of the o tackles. As it is I think we could wait until the 2nd.

  24. OneBuc55 Says:

    Imo Donovan Smith looks like he could be the perfect Right Tackle

    Left Tackle on the other hand; he’s a notch below good…but solid because of his durability…definitely not worth top LT money…

  25. TDTB Says:

    Agree Kinlaw in first. If not available then draft a the top 4 tackle. If not available then the trade down and take Delpit. Second is tougher because there will be tempting RB’s there.

  26. The Coroner Says:

    Jack Conklin
    Spotrac thinks 6 years $90,000,000.00
    $15 million a year.
    Suspect that cash will go to an edge rusher.

  27. Issac haggins Says:

    Tmax , certain players and their lazy habits suck the life blood out of a team and provide a much lesser return on actual talent or talent growth. Think about the growth of the players last year vs the past three , it’s not even close. Well this is a return on investment and the return flourished in effort , attitude and on the field play ,,,,, all by simply removing the toking gator and the ice cream truck and yes if he doesn’t bring it and lead a little ! next on the infection list whether he or anyone else believes it is a lazy left tackle and he has been given the warning !! I believe he is the last of the poison through effort and as discussed look at last years individual player growth minus the mental attitude poison and effort poison . Tmax You Are Correct !! Again

  28. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    Something I honestly don’t understand. Do we have a good o-line? Are marpet Jensen and donavan Smith good? I’ve read they are but I don’t see them opening massive holes for the running backs almost always. I think we are ranked decently but I would love to have a Pittsburgh or Baltimore offensive line that make holes I could run through. Where the defense feels beat up and you can see it on the field by the 4th qtr. it’s not like we don’t have a lot of money in this o-line.

  29. tmaxcon Says:


    No sir the bucs do not have a oline

    Dotson has been 1 dimensional garbage his entire career. Averag on his best day.

    No LG for years

    C best attribute hair and the occasionally tough guy routine

    Marpet overpaid backup at best second most overrated player on team behind cancer93 sidekick lvd

    Lt slow, lazy and simply just not yha3t good

    The object of game os to win not collect a bunch of mediocre to bad losers. Buc fans are so desperate it only takes one rumor the player is good and they fall head over hetls and cling..

  30. tmaxcon Says:

    Its really sad that bucfan clings to losers…. you could swap out the entire roster every 8 weeks and still achieve the same pathetic results…. screw the feelings BS if they are not helping the team win each week –‘ upgrade….no different than dating. If the opportunity is there to upgrade you dont hesitate.

  31. Smashsquatch Says:

    We need another tackle who can run block. Dotson just lost another step as I write and he’s a flat out liability in the run game. Targeting a tackle through the draft or FA is a must. I’d look for someone who can play either side and be open to the possibility of moving Smith to the right side. If Tua somehow slides within reach of the Bucs I’d feel less concerned about Smith on the left side (Tua is a lefty). It’s a pipe dream though, no chance he falls that far and I can’t imagine JL having the guts to mortgage future picks for a small fragile QB.

  32. BucEmUp Says:

    I don’t understand the Smith haters. Dude is solid. Dotson is toast.

  33. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Guys you’re forgetting he hates literally everyone except jameis.

    FSU fans are the worst

  34. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Just to be ornery and throw a wrench into the conversation…what happens if through some miracle the Bucs ended up Tua?

    If we have a left handed QB does the RT suddenly become far more important in terms of protecting a QB’s blind side?

  35. tmaxcon Says:


    I only hate mentally weak losers who don’t stive for greatness and who are lazy…. d smith is easily replaceable. Clinging to mediocrity and caring about feelings over production coupled with zero organizational leadership is why this minor league franchise has not won a single meaningful game in nearly two decades.

    Hardly a fsu fan pal. I just hate the fact the savior jameis christ was setup to fail by an incompetent small market irrelevant franchise with a fanbase who makes Vince young look like einstein

  36. Bucnjim Says:

    one or both of the Joe’s were so pro Smith it was almost disturbing! Now we are questioning the decision? Fans actually can watch a game and have an educated opinion based on what they see with their own eyes. But hey what’s 25 million for ANOTHER average player!

  37. WestChap Says:

    I don’t understand the negative views on LVD and Marpet… makes you wonder if some commenters watch any games.

    Lets just focus on OT where Dotson is done and Smith is ok at best. I get the availability argument for Smith but we need at least one “A” talent at OT and at least 2 new ones. Personally, I’d go for 3 by packaging Smith and all his favorable comments above to trade for Trent Williams… and then grab an OT in first 2 rounds and another in later rounds.

    Don’t understand any defenses of Smith… he stunk less last year? He didn’t quit as much? Agree with others that his negative impact is like GMC’s in that it goes beyond his own play. Nice guy, stays healthy… not a leader, rather an apologist for himself and others.

  38. Will Says:

    I’m not a Smith fan by any means. But I’ll say the fire is there it just doesn’t light easily or stay lit. The Interception Jameis threw in the Rams game, find it and watch the hit Smith puts on the CB before he scores. I was at that game and that hit showed some fire BUT then it went back out. Lmao

  39. CrackerBall Says:

    Donovan Smith has 2020 with the Bucs – after that, his guaranteed portion of his salary is gone – and shortly after that, so will he. Not very much return on your investment of $41 million, unless mediocrity is your thing.

  40. Owlykat Says:

    We would have to have a top five OL to keep fragile Tua alive so I don’t see that happening even if Tua falls our way. If protected he is an amazingly talented and accurate long ball passer but doesn’t have Jameis’ ability to dodge sackers and make yardage with his feet nor could he ever last a season taking the most sacks in the NFL like Jameis did last year (so no we don’t have a strong OL).

  41. Owlykat Says:

    We won a Super Bowl with Mike Alstott and haven’t had a 340 LB RB since. We need to add Boston College’s Big Back to be our third down back to block blitzes or run the ball on short yardage, or catch passes as an outlet back. On the goal line bring Vea in to block and hand the ball to our Big Back.

  42. tmaxcon Says:


    gruden never used alstott… stop rewriting history. alstott was a fine player but his popularity far exceeded his on field accomplishments. alstott like every offensive player in tampa during the dungy the clown era. he was misused and wasted… the 2.1 pts per game the clown averaged prove that. dungy the clown did far more damage to this franchise than good but the nuthuggers are blind to reality.

  43. ancientasbuc Says:

    I don’t believe anyone on the coaching staff said they are not sure about Smith. He is middle of the pack, is paid as middle of the pack and durable as hell. People that chirp about him aren’t watching film. Jameis extends plays and makes guys look bad at times and it is not limited to Smith. Jameis also makes big plays when he extends. Smith is not an issue.