The Shafting Of Lavonte David

July 16th, 2020

Mixed messages from NFL

This is supposed to be a feel-good story lauding a fantastic Bucs player. The more Joe thought about it, the more PO’ed Joe got, instead.

Over at BSPN, Jeremy Fowler is running a series on top-10 players at each position. This list is determined by a panel of 50 NFL folks including suits, coaches, scouts and players.

So when these learned NFL folks decided to pick the best linebackers (non-edge rushers), take a wild guess who they chose as the second-best linebacker in the NFL? Bucs veteran Lavonte David.

2. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Age: 30 | Highest ranking: 1 | Lowest ranking: 7

David landed at the No. 2 spot without flash but with ultimate respect. All but one voter kept him inside the top six.

“Criminally underrated,” one veteran NFL linebacker said. “Doesn’t get the recognition but so smooth as a player. Everything he does is right.”

The Bucs view him as a cornerstone despite their influx of talent on both sides of the ball. He made plays through the down years, and will get more shine in the Bucs’ renewed playoff push with Tom Brady.

No stat category is left unfilled with David: 45 passes defended, 21 forced fumbles, 11 interceptions, 22.5 sacks, 52 quarterback hits and 116 tackles for loss since 2012.

David came into the league with Wagner, but bests him in all but two of those categories (passes defended and quarterback hits). …

“He doesn’t really have a glaring weakness,” said an NFC exec. “And he can play outside linebacker or the mike.”

So per Fowler’s info, David was a unanimous selection for Fowler’s top-10 since his lowest vote was No. 7.

So why should this get Joe worked up? The same types of people are the same SOBs who year after year keep David out of the Pro Bowl. Why? (Yes, Joe knows a portion of the Pro Bowl vote is from the fans.)

However, Joe is starting to smell something really shady here. And the smell is of the handiwork of a cable outfit working behind the scenes.

The Pro Bowl is a made-for-TV event; let’s be honest. Broadcast recently on BSPN, you should see how the four-letter takes over that game with its week-long events amid an army of BSPN personalities, producers and technicians.

Joe is getting the scent that David is actually held off Pro Bowl rosters because his Q-score is so low. David is a quiet guy who plays in a market not known for bright lights in a division that gets few TV eyeballs traditionally, toiling for a loser of a franchise.

(Joe apologizes for that last sentence but there is no way Joe can airbrush the Bucs’ record since David was drafted in 2012.)

So Joe is starting to think that mouse outfit in Bristol might have a bigger hand in who plays in that game than people may realize. BSPN/ABC/Disney has held the broadcast rights to the Pro Bowl since 2015.

Joe sure wouldn’t put it past the four-letter to pull off a stunt like that.

Think about it: Who outside of Bucs fans would say, “You know, I have to watch the Pro Bowl because Lavonte David will be in it.”

If every person NFL employee you talk to raves about David, and a panel of over four dozen NFL types believe David is the NFL’s second-best non-edge rushing linebacker, then how the hell does David miss out on the Pro Bowl year after year?

(Background: The only time David made the Pro Bowl was the season after he sucked it up and spent a morning on radio row at the Super Bowl in Phoenix. David was so upset he was missing out on Pro Bowls his agent coaxed him into marketing himself, which David is very uncomfortable with. Coincidence? Joe doesn’t believe in coincidences.)

Simply put, it’s because David is a humble guy and rarely gets to play in prime time games, much less big games or even playoff games. He gets shafted while his NFL colleagues jet to vacation destinations after the season ends to play touch football on national TV.

And who knows how many hundreds of thousands (millions?) of dollars David has lost in bonuses as a result?

14 Responses to “The Shafting Of Lavonte David”

  1. Clean House Says:

    I read an article saying the Bucs may prioritize Shaq Barrett next year rather than Lavonte, I hope we can get both players, but I think Lavonte should be well taken care of and extended.

  2. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    >>Joe is getting the scent that David is actually held off of Pro Bowl rosters because his Q-score is so low.<<

    Be careful, Joe, lest they accuse you of being a conspiracy theorist!

  3. Buczilla Says:

    I share in your disbelief and anger Joes. David and other Buccaneers have been shafted for years for post season awards. Outside of a few personalities and of course live sports, ESPN is trash. Winning consistently is the only cure for this as there is little chance of players outside of big markets getting enough credit if they play on a losing team.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    Good player on a BAD defense, and an even worse team. There’s no mystery to it, IMO.
    There might be some light at the end of the tunnel though. If you weren’t on the edge of your seat watching this defense play towards the end of last year, you should check your pulse. Bowles, with his 3-4 defense, has injected excitement and aggression to this defense. This defense was NIGHT AND DAY more fun to watch than the previous 3-4 years combined.
    My opinion on LVD is that he is a really good player. The statistics bear that out. I may be a minority but, it’s not hard to stand out on the defenses he’s played on. Pro Bowl? I’d rather him get to the playoffs.

  5. «Delusional Intelligence» Says:


  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The voting process is the reason he hasn’t made it much. Voting for the Pro Bowl is rigged. Fans get to vote as many times as they want, and there are plenty of fans who have little to do but waste time on the Internet.

    Fans should not even have a vote. It should be determined by production. Only the best should make it.

    The Pro Bowl is currently a joke. So who cares?

  7. Leighroy Says:

    No conspiracy. It’s because 3-4 edge rushers get classified as OLB’s for the pro-bowl and David has traditionally been a Will linebacker (tho he played the Mike last year w the new defense). The edge rushers rack up gaudy sack numbers like Barrett did last year, and that gets all the attention.

    Khalil Mack and Ryan Kerrigan for 2018 season…. all on sack #’s. Barr the reserve was the only true LB

    Barret and Chandler Jones last year each had 19+ sacks and Mack made it again on reputation for…. you guessed it sacks.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Clean House Says
    “I read an article saying the Bucs may prioritize Shaq Barrett next year rather than Lavonte”

    Shaq should be valued more than Lavante. David is in his twilight years. Devin White was drafted because of it. They’ll probably draft another ILB in the next year or two as well.

    I doubt David will get an extention…unless it is a very short one. More likely he will go year to year at this point.

    Next year will be interesting. If we win big this year, which I firmly believe we will (assuming there is a season), then our sell-swords on defense will be priced off the team. Say, for example, that we go to the big game. No way will JPP & Suh stick around longer. They’ll want to get paid more and we won’t have the money.

    On top of that, Smith’s guarantees will be finished. He could be gone as well, although if we go all the way he’ll have played well enough to keep.

  9. Hodad Says:

    The only thing that has kept LVD out of the pro bowl has been the Bucs dismal record during his time here. I’m not blaming him for the losing, but McCoy was our token pro bowler during those losing years. Your right Joe, McCoy’s personality won out over the bland David. Winning will get him noticed.

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    This is what happens when a team loses.

    Good players get overlooked and disrespected.

    David has been an excellent player since Day 1 (with one Jet game the exception.)

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    Who gives a sh!t about the pro bowl. Fans and teams (especially in our division) not to mess with LVD. He better get paid next year. Not to say Shaq didn’t blow it out of the water last year, but he also had the opportunity next to a double team JPP. Between Godwin, LVD, and Shaq getting new contracts next year, I’m resigning Godwin and LVD all day.

  12. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    As in other aspects of life, why should we expect “the system” always to be fair?

    Being the outstanding football player that he is I am sure that putting a Super Bowl ring on his finger would serve to justify his career and more than compensate him for the disrespect he may have received.

  13. rrsrq Says:

    He has had a HOF career in my book, but it will be a long shot based on just what you wrote Joe

  14. BuckyLove Says:

    Well, everyone on the Bucs will get more attention this year……if there is a this year. As for the Pro Bowl I would like to see a system for it (and for baseball all star) that puts four ranking lists together…the fans, the coaches, the players and the sports writers. Then throw out the lowest of the three for each player to get the consensus list. But publish it all. Looking at the differences between the lists would be endless fodder for some of the talk shows and lots of fun. And the result would be better recognition of the best players.