Potential Donovan Smith Fines For Skipping Training Camp

July 13th, 2020

Yes, it’s likely every NFL player soon will have an option that lets them make a now-or-never decision to skip the entire 2020 season because of concerns related to The Sickness — and remain unpunished by their teams and the league.

But suppose a veteran player just wants to skip training camp?

It’s rare to see training camp holdouts because they are very expensive. However, they’re much more likely this year because players have more than just money on their minds.

Enter Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith. He’s publicly stated that he might not want to be “a lab rat” and risk catching the virus because he expects a baby due at the end of July.

So perhaps Smith will just show up a month late to collect his guaranteed $16 million for this season. Bucs veterans currently are expected to report to camp July 28. Tampa Bay’s regular season opens Sept. 13.

Joe was researching penalties for holding out of training camp and found this from CBS Sports, tied to the old labor agreement.

The penalties under the CBA are much more severe in training camp, which are an effective deterrent for most players. A team can fine a player a maximum of $30,000 for each day of training camp he misses. A player who signed his contract as an unrestricted free agent can be fined one week’s base salary (1/17 of salary) for each preseason game missed in addition to the $30,000 per day. A year of service toward free agency isn’t earned without a player reporting to his team at least 30 days prior to NFL’s first regular season game (Aug. 5 reporting date this year).

For the purposes of discussion, let’s say training camp opens on time and Smith decides to report Aug. 14 — 30 days before the regular season opens but 17 days later than he was supposed to. That would cost Smith a maximum of $510,000 based on the parameters above (and the Bucs could choose to fine him a lot less).

That’s not exactly a lot of money when you’re in Smith’s pay grade.

Joe has no clue how Smith will proceed, but Joe would bet a few bucks that Smith isn’t there when the team reports. Joe also would wager that Smith doesn’t opt out on the season and all that cash.

41 Responses to “Potential Donovan Smith Fines For Skipping Training Camp”

  1. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Sounds like the “fines” would be cheaper than an ICU visit!!!!!!!!!!!! The “real” fans stand with and will support DS76 sitting out!!!!!!!!!!!!! The man needs to do what is best for his family and is in position to do so!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Youngbucs Says:

    Come on smith put your money where your mouth is.

  3. matthew veal Says:

    I know everyone is upset, because it’s a big could be big year for the bucs, bolts, Rays and even the Gators (sorry can’t help myself). My sense is we owe Mr Smith s debt of gratitude, in that who knows what will happen. Will scheduled games not
    be played due to test results like in Orlando MLS yesterday. Will the season happen or end prematurely?

    The coaches have not hidden reality and the players are far more sophisticated than most people think imo.

    Smith going public tells me he isn’t alone. I say let this play out as none of us can reasonably predict what’s going to happen anyway.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Chump change for DS…..he can do as he wishes….but….beware……he has no guarantees after this season and we just possibly drafted his replacement.

  5. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ El Buco Realisto

    Oh stop being dramatic “EL Dramatic-o” 😜

  6. Youngbucs Says:

    I’m not angry with smith it’s his choice but don’t just talk the talk walk it. Everyone likes to show off for different reasons on social media. If he honestly feels this way sit out .

  7. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Maybe we can swap LT’s with the Washington Filibusters

  8. james west Says:

    let the man do what he’s got to do for his peace of mind and his family. switch joe heag to left tackle he has experience at every position on the line, try and snag some depth after the cuts for the O line, and D line because they will have the money if smith opt’s out, and forfeits his pay, problem solved and if haeg balls out, cut smith restructure haeg’s contract and we’ll have extra money next season, to play with, hell if haeg can get er done and we get depth, were good

  9. Sarasota Garey Says:

    So, if he doesnt show up at all, do we get all of his cap room back?

  10. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    everybody is asking this question???????^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “A year of service toward free agency isn’t earned without a player reporting to his team at least 30 days prior to NFL’s first regular season game”

    This is the part that interests me.

    On a side note, my family is now in quarantine. Lucky me.

  12. Jeff Says:

    Sue the league. Smith should absolutely have the right to sit the season out without penalties. Greedy billionaires who want their toys to play.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Jeff Says
    “Sue the league. Smith should absolutely have the right to sit the season out without penalties.”

    Say that to the millions of service workers who continue to work. Including my sons. and my wife who works at Manatee Memorial.

    And as I said, we are all under quarantine now because one of my sons was exposed.

    Still, someone has to do the work.

    Smith is a different animal anyway. He has a signed contract, and violating it SHOULD come with penalties…the Bucs should not have to pay him if he takes off the season.

    The bad news with that though is that his final year will be delayed a year.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Although, I doubt the Bucs would stop him from being home until after the baby is born.

  15. SB Says:

    ^^^^^^^^Sit out without Penalties?!?!?!?!?!!?
    Have you bumped your flippin head Jeff????

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And that’s the irony…the team has the option to fine him, but that doesn’t mean they will. Yet everyone here thinks they will.

  17. Bucsfan951 Says:


    Are you hiring? I want to sit out AND still get paid millions.

    News flash! The world shouldn’t work that way!!!

  18. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    How about the Washington Swamp Creatures?

  19. Hodad Says:

    Right now Smith isn’t a lab rat just a rat. Look if he doesn’t want to play I can respect that, but just say it already. I’m sure him, and his family can live a good life with the money he’s already made. So Donny, if you are afraid to play, rightfully so, just retire. Either that, or just STF up, and play. No one is holding a gun to your head. You can retire, and come back when you feel it’s safe, or play. Enough drama big boy.

  20. Cobraboy Says:

    AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Maybe we can swap LT’s with the Washington Filibusters

    You mean the WokeSkins?

  21. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Do any of you have children? I have a son. Even though I’m the one at risk I’d far rather I get it than he ever get it. Do any of you have children?

    Do you remember how you felt when that kid was ready to arrive. My son was born the 22nd of this month 44 years ago and to this day I remember the feeling exactly.

    If you haven’t had a child, or didn’t stop to think about it I understand.

    But to demean Donavan Smith’s manhood because he’s even “thinking” about trying to mitigate the risk to himself and his family is just unfeeling or unaware at best.

    Money has nothing to do with this. Football has nothing to do with thisk! Are there any of you out there who are ready to say football is more important than your child?

  22. Ron says Says:

    The problem is Donovan is not there right now, he is already preparing not to play, if he is honorable he would retire, cause this virus is not going away and he is a liability to his team and the efforts of everyone who is preparing and focus on this season. Notice in your other article about Gronk and letting others know they need another type of energy since the fans may not be present, winners think about winning. No one can predict the future so it is best to be the best we can be in our situation and take the precaution we feel are best for those around us, everyone who has been working and everyone who takes the field have families friends and loved ones who they should always consider. The football players have two families and if they can only provide for their primary family then they should have the courtesy to let the other family know and let both of them move on, Their is set value to each position and if a player is not willing to honor his obligation he should be honorable enough to move on and not penalize his team’s chances.

  23. Youngbucs Says:

    You sound stupid asking if we have children I do and I have to work. What are you trying to say?????

  24. SB Says:

    Money has nothing to do with this. Football has nothing to do with thisk! Are there any of you out there who are ready to say football is more important than your child?


    I Completely disagree with you on this one SPBF. He made it about money and football is work. I care greatly about my son and family but I go to work every day. As I have said before if he wants to sit, he can afford it let him sit. His choice. However when he suggested that he should get a raise if he plays T-Totally made me lose a sh!t ton of respect for him.
    As I said on another thread, Should I tell my clients “Look I am building your house during this dangerous time so I am going to charge you an extra 20%?
    NO I signed a contract just like he did.
    That being said I Completely disagree with the NFL holding 35% of their salaries in escrow.

  25. bojim Says:

    Family first.

  26. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ SB

    I 100% agree

    He did make it about money….wrapped up with help.

    So by his logic and reasoning…..should every worker in the us get extra raises for working during this time???

    There are millions of Americans hurting cause of what’s going on with the Economy.

    So many people whine and complain about nonsense when it’s not affecting them…………THINK ABOUT THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. gp Says:


    The commenters built the soap box and you stepped right up on it.

    Those who have mentioned family have been supportive of his concerns. making a decision based on the health of his family is almost universally accepted here.

    Complaining/whining about monetary considerations and inferring that extra pay would make his family health decisions easier is insulting and disgusting. Had he said that extra pay would make the decision harder it might have been different.
    But, he didn’t.
    Most here just don’t want him to screw the team over by “leaving” at the last moment and leaving the team without a LT.

    The decision is a LOT easier for Donovan than it is for the average parent. The average parent *must* have a job if only to feed the child. Many do make the choice to “move, change jobs, mortgage the farm,” for the health of their child.
    Sure would be a lot easier for them if they had *millions* in the back, don’t you think.
    Oh yeah, before you go there, non of this has anything to do with the skin color of child, mom, or dad. Same for Donovan’s family.

  28. Craig Says:

    Donovan Smith did not make it about the money. Roger Goodell did that when he decided he was going to have every player put 35% of their salary into the league’s slush fund, what he called escrow.

    Donovan Smith made it about family, which should go ahead of a game. I am still hoping the NFL doesn’t blow it, but it looks like they are heading that way.

    To bring up fines when people talk about their worry over the “sickness” is close to disgusting. I am pretty sure that Donovan would love to play this season. It will be the biggest thing of his career. Who wouldn’t want to play on Tom Brady’s team.

    In the end he will probably end up playing and playing well.

  29. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Have we heard of any nurses who have quit because they could no longer faced bringing it home to their family? Do you blame THEM.

    Again…unless you enlisted in the military and committed a length of your time to be at life and death risk when needed…NOBODY has to work at a specific job.

    EVERYBODY needs money. There are different choices as to how it is earned.

    I do not disrespect any nurse or doc who gave up in the midst of this pandemic.
    It’s THEIR life and death choice…not mine.

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:

    “cause this virus is not going away”

    No it’s not going to “magically” disappear. But AGAIN it was called the NOVEL Coronovirus because it was new and different. We had a lot to learn in the past six months…and while we screwed the pooch relative to other nations we are learning.

    We are not the only humans on this planet. Others in our species are looking for treatments and vaccines. It’s time to tone down a bit of our arrogance and look around and learn how others have handled this far more successfully.

    Meds are on the way…vaccines are in various trial stages…in just six short months we have taken a disease that claimed four out of five victims who entered the ICU to where those numbers are reversed and now it’s only 1 out of five.

    I thought I was the most impatient human on earth…but I see from my fellow Americans I am Job in comparison.

    This time next year we will be talking about football without the virus hanging over the season. As the Persians have said…”This too will pass.”

  31. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Well said.

  32. diggler Says:

    No way the season happens. Testing 90 guys every day, constant stops and starts when one person test positive, etc… absolute nightmare. Sucks so bad for us Bucs fans, IM PISSED!

  33. The Coroner Says:

    I am a physician.
    Donovan, kids rarely get significantly ill. Risk of death is infinitesimally small in children.

  34. BucEmUp Says:

    If he skips camp hes not going to be in sync and they need to force him to make a decision by a certain time. If he chooses by the time the team requests so they can find anorher option for the season he would forfeit his pay with no additional penalties.If he took his time and hirt the team by backing out right befroe.the season starts fine him extra.If he wants to play he plays. Just tell the team what is going on so they can have a plan.This virus is a joke only 10% of covid deaths are actually from covid. 🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑

  35. Buczilla Says:

    From a personal standpoint, I can understand why Donovan might want skip the season, training camp, etc. He is set for life and he’s a grown a$$ man who has to do what he feels is right for his family.

    As a Buccaneers fan, I hope to hell that Licht is on the phones hustling like a madman to get at least a first round pick for this guy. A left tackle, making a top 10 salary, praised for being a good player by many, surely can pull at least a first rounder right? I think he’s slightly better than average and I’d take a second round pick all day long.

  36. Allbuccedup Says:

    NFL should waive penalties for training camp. The players should work their contracts between their teams. I would say a player not playing all year should sacrifice 75% of their salary. I truly believe thats fair if the player can negotiate better thats ok also.

  37. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Why would anybody trade a pick for a guy sitting the year out? Especially a 1st or 2nd? There’s a better chance of the Bucs trading a 1st Rounder to get Jameis back. Yes, it’s that low of a chance, IMHO.

  38. adam from ny Says:

    there’s move covid up in that sweaty old beard of his than the entire state of florida…

    shave the beard and watch half the covid in florida mysteriously go away, just disappear ………..said donald trump

  39. adam from ny Says:

    does anyone remember a couple years ago when big donovon rag dolled todd monken as they headed to the locker room after a good win…

    he straight yoked him up…

    it’s a good clip i’m surprised no one runs it more…

    or when donovan blasted the rams corner last year on a jameis interception being taken back into the end zone…

    see…donovan does do some good things too…….lol

  40. Smashsquatch Says:

    All about money, always is. Calling Smith’s bluff on this one. No chance he passes up $14 mil, deferred or not. Go ahead Donovan, sit this one out. Next man up!

  41. stpetebucsfan Says:


    If you’re truly a physician I feel sorry for your patients. What about the mother of his child? Does she count? Seriously! Are you really a Doctor or do you just play one on a blog?

    How up are you on the stats about the virus and pregnancy? Any effects? I don’t know but in six months time have even had enough time to determine the risk to pregnant women?