Troubling Signal From Donovan Smith

July 19th, 2020

COVID-19 concerns.

For those Bucs fans that dismiss messages from NFL players saying they may not play this fall, in particular Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith, a reassessment may be in order.

After the latest in a series of proposals the NFL has sent to the NFLPA to try to jump-start training camps throughout the league and have an NFL season, Smith dropped hints on social media that the possibility park-violating, park-invading, NFLPA-ignoring Bucs quarterback Tom Brady’s backside will be protected by a backup or a rookie left tackle shouldn’t be an idle thought.

Today, several NFL players took to Twitter to voice their displeasure that the NFL proposals to get players on a field are, per the players, insufficient for safe practices and/or games amid a global pandemic.

Further, players allege the NFL is not listening to the players, and not listening to its own medical advisors. Thus, players are starting to make noise and threaten not to play football.

And who retweeted several of these messages today on Twitter? Smith.

Now Smith famously stated on Instagram recently he is “not a lab rat.”

Smith also retweeted a message from Drew Brees who also threatened the NFLPA may not report to camps if the NFL doesn’t offer its employees a safer environment.

Joe counted some 14 (and counting as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday) retweets Smith sent of players threatening to stay home this fall using the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.

Among the twitter posts Smith retweeted came from Trent Brown, Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Khalil Mack and Brees.

Joe can sympathize with the players. This isn’t about dudes dying. That’s overly dramatic if not a reach. This is about a very, very contagious virus that has rendered some young, athletic victims a shell of their former selves, maybe forever.

So yeah, Joe sympathizes with players who see their careers totally ruined by catching a virus going to work. If the players are eager to return to football and play games (it seems they are), Joe cannot understand why NFL management wouldn’t want their valuable investments (yes, let’s look at this with cold hard numbers) to stay healthy, both for today and the long haul.

69 Responses to “Troubling Signal From Donovan Smith”

  1. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Well said on assesment.

  2. El Buco Realisto Says:

    The “real” fans stand tall with DS76!!!!!!!!!!!The man is essentially on the last year of his, and possible DS76 last year in the nfl if he catches the sickness!!!!!!!! The Man has every right to protect and do what is best for his family!!!!!!!!!!!! Why risk there healthy just to see ole stale biscuit fold like a lawn chair and be on a team that will finish 8-8!!!!!!!!!!

    The “real” fans stand with any player that feels uncomfortable and will opt out!!!!!!!!!

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

  3. Joe Says:


  4. BucEmUp Says:

    This is a full contact sport that requires live practice ands constant contact. Only so much can be done to realistically expect results. Either play or sit….and if that means no football then so be it. I could really give a crap less. Personally this virus is a load of b.s in my opinion but everyone has the right to their own decisions. At the end of the day though, you can’t expect a full firing face shield in an enclosed helmet outside when its 99 freaking degrees unless the damn helmets have little a/c systems in them, which would still ventilate and funnel out and germs or spread regardless. What are you going to wrap the bottom of the helmet round the neck and turn the helmet into a respirator? Honestly if the practices and spring training are that dialed back the quality of the product is going to be complete crap (bad enough as it it) and I would rather spend my days swimming, golfing, doing projects, shooting guns, boating whatever….hitting the beach. If the players are afraid of getting sick then cancel the season if enough of them sit. This sport is full contact think realistically. I’m not sure there is much more the NFL can do that won’t turn the season into a complete joke of a product.

  5. lowercaseg Says:

    Trade him for a 7th.

  6. All lives matter Says:

    I say cancel football, and no-one get paid for free.

  7. mark2001 Says:

    BEU…just one thought regarding where this is. These guys have the best doctors in America.. and they are very aware that this is real and a real risk to their careers, as Joe stated. They have millions of dollars in the balance individually, and wouldn’t pass on that without getting the best information available. They are taking it very seriously…I suggest we all do.

  8. Clean House Says:

    I heard Bill Romanowski wants to make a comeback

  9. PSL Bob Says:

    Joe, what recommendations are the medical experts making that the NFL is ignoring. It would be nice to have full reporting here so we can evaluate the player’s concerns.

    The sooner the NFL gets to a complete quarantine of players, coaches, admin, staff, facility maintenance personnel, etc. from the outside world, including family, the sooner we’ll be confident of a 2020 season. Quarantine all teams for the entire season. No fans at the games, but televise all local games (i.e. no blackouts). Players and coaches won’t be able to interact with family and friends for at least 4 months, but hey, military personnel on deployment can do it. I realize it’s hard, but then again, that’s why they make the big bucks!

  10. Coburn Says:

    In all reality it should be cancelled. I was really looking forward to this sesosn. Too. Had a feeling we would go all in and not have a season 🙁 ii should be moved out by September hopefully and free of the ball and chain. So plan was to get dazn and enjoy Sundays again.. just doesn’t seem wise to have football though

  11. bucsfaninoregon Says:

    Joe, you are getting it!
    Pro Football is a business for owners and players and a diversion for all the rest of us. Owners will lose millions if no season. Players, also. But, the players pay the price if something goes wrong. (And what could go wrong?)
    We don’t do anything but pay $$ to watch FOR ENTERTAINMENT. A diversion. We DON’T need football for 2020- -period.
    What the heck did people do before pro ball became available almost every day? Did they survive? Sounds like some on this site won’t survive if the don’t see Brady in 2020. Oh well.

  12. Mike Johnson Says:

    Oh please Buc fans, If you fault Smith or any professional or college player about having 2nd thoughts of playing sports then you..need your heads examined. Funny how people avt bold and stupid until something affects them. This virus is real. And it affects everybody differently. even Kids are catching it now. My wife as a Nurse has witnessed the virus in action as a Nurse. depending on your body and if its your time people, The virus parties uncontrollably when it enters you. I salute Smith and any other player who is hesitant of catching, spreading, and taking this deadly gift home to their families.

  13. BucEmUp Says:

    On the plus side we signed Brady to a two year deal. If the season is canceled we still have him for two years (2022) I could only imagine how hungry bray would be if he went one year without football. Then again Donavan Smith could also gain 100 lbs and not workout at all.

    If the season was canceled though it would probably lose the city a super bowl hosting. I doubt they would push them all back.

  14. unbelievable Says:

    Lol at thinking Brady will ever play again if these season is canceled.

    He won’t.

    And that’s probably what will happen because, ya know, #ItsABucsLife. This is what our franchise always gets.

  15. WillieG Says:

    Good. Cancel the season. Let them all figure out how to get a job and earn a living by actually working instead of playing a game. They’d better learn fast because if they cancel this season, the NFL is done. People will figure out how to enjoy life without it, and most won’t be willing to go back to wasting hours and hours watching a bunch of spoiled rich brats play a game.

  16. unbelievable Says:

    *this season ^

  17. Mike28277 Says:

    Question Joe’s: if the season is cancelled, does the TV contract still apply or not? I am all for player health and safety, but this IS a business. Does the contract become null and void, pushed out 1 year if there is no season and fast forward to 2021? Thanks

  18. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I agree with many here. Cancel the season and let the players earn their money next year. People laid off at restaurants, hotels or small businesses aren’t getting paid to sit on their a$$ at home.

  19. Bucnjim Says:

    I see 60, 65, 70 year olds working at publix every day. Some because they need the money others because that is what they want to do. Funny how we are concerned about a bunch of 20 somethings but the millions of people over 60 who get up and acually go to work?

  20. MissingGeorgeCarlin Says:

    [Joe will write whatever he damn well pleases. You don’t get to come to this site all high and mighty trying to dictate what Joe writes, ‘k? 🙂 The lane you may want to stay in is the exit lane. — Joe]

  21. Bucnjim Says:

    Also if the players ARE so concerned then by all means cancel the season, as well as any guaranteed money for 2020. After billions are lost there will be a lot of voided contracts going into 2021.

  22. jjbucfan Says:

    Hopefully they will reach an agreement, if not, the Bucs better refund my money and not try to put it towards 2021. Just get this crap done already. Cancel the season or play it without fans or business as usual, just get it done.

  23. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I agree with Jaymiss you’ve done an excellent and RESPONSIBLE job of handling this issue.

    Like Mike Johnson, Mark and others I sympathize with the players tough decision.
    And while Joe has made excellent points about how this might effect a stud young athlete whose body is capable of generating millions of dollars in his career…there is another MAJOR consideration.

    I saw one young black DB point out that he is black…his wife is black…check the statistics. He is not worried for himself but in addition to being African American his wife is diabetic. He does not want to bring it home and kill his wife.

    DS is soon to be a father. His entire perspective has changed. These guys are not thinking about simply themselves…many are far more concerned with bringing it home to their families…wives…children…parents.

  24. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Near the end of a thread that might be depressing for some may I offer a link to brighten everybody’s day. It’s a WAPO link which means guys get a few stories free before Bezos puts the bite on them.

    Need some good news about covid-19? Here are six reasons for optimism.

  25. BucsFanForever Says:

    I seriously doubt football can be safely played with the virus still rampant. In a contact sport like football even one infected player on the field can infect many others. I can understand why players are reluctant.

  26. jjbucfan Says:

    BTW-dude took a lot of plays off, now he will have the opportunity to take a season off. Peace out. Amazing soccer is a full go in Europe without fans and we don’t hear anything about an increase in cases or on teams. 1 word—LAWYERS!! JMO

  27. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Our country literally has the worst response to this virus in the entire world.

    The Euros can play because they took their medicine when they should and shut er down and EVERYBODY wore masks…no laws or pleading necessary. Their numbers are now a tiny fraction of ours.

    Best example is perhaps death. It’s absolute and final and nobody can fix this problem for them…they are already dead! I feel pretty sure they are happy to know their deaths are merely a hoax.

    The United States now has twice as many deaths as the next closest nation…over 140,000 DEAD…Brazil over 70,000.

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The only thing they are really upset about is the reduced pay. Even Smith said that. They are acting like its the health concerns, but it really isn’t.

    And in my book, if the all of the players choose not to show, then it is a clear violation of the CBA and all of their contracts should be voided.

    Most of the players want to play. It’s the NFLPA and a few high and mighty players who are looking for any excuse not to.

    Smith has a valid reason to not report to camp…his child is due about that time and he can’t risk infecting his wife or missing the birth of his child, so he should be excused until a week or so after the baby is born.

    But unless individual players have valid reasons, they should be there.

    It’s up to the NFL to provide a safe work environment. If they don’t, then they can be sued. But let’s be honest…the players don’t even know all of the precautions the NFL plans to take. Part of their complaint is that they don’t know enough yet.

    So how can they honestly say it won’t be safe?

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    jjbucfan, to be fair, soccer is barely started. Give it time.

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    BucsFanForever Says
    “I seriously doubt football can be safely played with the virus still rampant.”

    I remember seeing stories of emergency workers separating themselves from their families because they work around Covid. Isolation of hte players would work, but the players won’t do it.

    The truth is this: there are ways to be safe…but people refuse to use the methods, then blame others for not making it safe.

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’m waiting to see how testing turns out when the players report to camp. If the offense doesn’t have it after working out with Tom Brady, then it’s a good sign.

  32. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Well, I’m a real fan and I say if you sit this year out, find a new career next year. If you’re that afraid of this virus, by all means stay home, but I promise you the team will look to replace you, regardless of what the agreement is.

  33. webster Says:

    Did a clown just say let them get a real job by actually working and not playing a game? Does this dude understand the amount of work it takes not to just make it to the nfl, but to make the team and remain in the nfl? This fools acts like playing in the nfl is the same as playing uno. Uno is a game. Nfl football is a sport played by professional athletes which less 1% of the population even have a chance of sniffing. That is a job sir. Its an elite job. And please stop trying to speak for people as if the nfl will lose major business if they have to sit out a year due to this virus. You sound stupid and im willing to bet you too will be there to watch the first game in 2021 like everybody else. Gtfooh

  34. Alanbucsfan Says:

    What, specifically, are the players objecting to?

  35. stpetebucsfan Says:


    If you follow that link I posted for 6 causes for optimism….one of course are how far we’ve already come with therapeutics, it’s no longer an automatic death sentence. But it’s way uncool that some Florida hospitals are getting very low on

    The vaccines are moving along at breakneck speed…but for me the major thing coming down the pike are the new tests…cost expected to be 1-5 bucks and could be used at home just like a home pregnancy test. It has a quick turnaround could easily be used on the job…NFL…or perhaps at business establishments like restaurants…temp test…if triggered one of these if the people still want to wait five minutes to get in the restaurant.

    IMO I’m about 50-50. Wonder what the smart guys are saying in Vegas.
    I haven’t seen a line on the season…I saw one old article describing how Vegas was getting ready to book NFL start dates…don’t know what other variations they may have up on the board….total lost season…half season etc.

  36. stpetebucsfan Says:


    “What, specifically, are the players objecting to?”

    Violation of EVERY CDC guideline. You can’t socials distance and tackle folks.

    Given that the maximum rate of infection occurs when an infected person is yellling, singing, panting from exertion, screaming, anything that helps project the flow of disease.

    Some estimates are that singing and yelling…cheering increase the distance from six feet to closer to twenty feet.

    So short of making sure everybody is tested prior to each game…maybe twice if there are any questions about accuracy…every play a guy makes literally jeopardizes his health in terms of getting the virus.

    Now it may do nothing to him…he may not take it home…then again.

    If they truly have a test that takes five minutes and costs five dollars or less the NFL could administer them daily to every player. It’s still up to the players but that would certainly make ME feel safer…IF I trusted the tests.

  37. Alanbucsfan Says:

    St Pete
    Well, you can’t social distance and play football. They knew this 5 months ago.
    Gotta be something else…

  38. Tom Matthews Says:

    Donovan Smith saying something about a 2nd stringer or a rookie protecting Brady? Either would be an improvement.

  39. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I think they expected a protocol from the NFL with specific metrics about testing etc.

  40. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    I have continually tried to stay out of this Covid-19 debate. Science is continually evolving regarding this virus. So, thoughts are going to change. However, it is no longer a question whether or not to wear a mask. Wear the f@cking mask!
    I left the TB area and am at my summer home in the Adirondack Mountains. Since I’m from Florida, my friends who have been my friends since I was born 60 years ago, want very little to do with me until I’m quarantined for 2 weeks.
    I went on a nice 8 mile hike in the High Peaks last week and just about everyone I passed on the trail put a mask on before passing me. People in this state take it seriously. Unfortunately, in FLA, some dopes still don’t understand the importance of putting on a mask to protect others.

  41. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @bucsfaninoregon Says:
    “Joe, you are getting it!
    Pro Football is a business for owners and players and a diversion for all the rest of us. Owners will lose millions if no season. Players, also. But, the players pay the price if something goes wrong. (And what could go wrong?)
    We don’t do anything but pay $$ to watch FOR ENTERTAINMENT. A diversion. We DON’T need football for 2020- -period….
    You seems a lock down promoter, a stay home, no sport fan… for 2020 you say!!!
    how about 2021, 2022….. if we have no vaccine for this virus????
    just stay hiding inside….keep the life-switch OFF???
    When do you suggest to start football…. give us a date, give us a condition, how about other sports…WHEN???

  42. Cobraboy Says:

    Exactly what do the players want to “be safe?”

  43. Cobraboy Says:

    So if pklayers are tested ecvery day, and one comes back positive, does the entire team get quarantined for 2 weeks?


    The just shut the entire m’f’n season down NOW and kwit the complaining!

    I am tired of this crap!

  44. WillieG Says:

    Webster, your reading comprehension is on par with your writing ability, which is to say it sucks.

    Yeah, pro sports require a lot of work, but it’s still a game that pays ridiculously well. Anyone who works a real job would gladly trade places with a professional athlete any day.

    And I’m not speaking for everyone. I’m simply stating fact. People are fed up with the NFL already because of their support for the marxists, so it won’t take much to lose them permanently. I only watch the Bucs and I used to watch 2-5 games each week. Not any more. I don’t want politics or social issues with my sports and entertainment.

    Lastly, who the hell do you think you are telling me to go away? Are you one of those butt hurt snow flakes who can’t have a discussion with someone unless they think exactly like you? Pathetic.

  45. Cainishere Says:

    The NFLPA does not own the NFL. There are plenty of football players that can play if you want to protect yourself. We understand. Good luck.

  46. Buczilla Says:

    Good article Joe’s and I agree. I don’t blame any player if they sit out this year given all of the uncertainties with this sickness. When you hear 100 different “experts” giving 100 different predictions, to me, that means that no one knows what the hell they are talking about. At that point it’s just time to do what you feel is right for your family and yourself.

    I’ll take all of those players at their word with the exception of Drew Brees. I can’t take a man seriously if he folds at the first signs of adversity when criticized for something he clearly strongly believes in.

  47. Dom>Licht Says:

    Have not missed 1 day of work as my business is “essential”. Have been in contact with 100s of people a week. Have had several test since I am constantly in contact with people that have tested positive. My own family members have had positive test! We have been so lucky that no one has gotten severely sick!! I can only imagine how I would feel if a family member DIED from this and I was the one that brought it home.. if I had D Smiths money I would say F All Of You that think you could not live with out football!!!

  48. Mike Says:

    Webster I would say the NFL is a job, however I would say firefighters,police,doctors and the like are getting paid much less for FAR more important work so……. yeah spoiled brats.

  49. Joe in Michigan Says:

    webster: Webster’s dictionary definition of football: 1 : a game played with an oval ball on a large field by two teams of eleven players that move the ball by kicking, passing, or running with it.

    So, yes, it IS a GAME. Well said, WillieG.

  50. Big Stinky Says:

    No reason to sit the season out, everybody wear masks. Had a first responder tell me there was less than a 5% chance of me getting the virus if he was wearing a mask and HAD the virus. They should probably stay away from their families too. Try to limit contact till game day.

  51. Robert James Says:

    man, for the last 4 months all i see is players working out together with no mask ect and now they are all like we can’t do this , it’s not safe. lol

  52. Dandy Don’s Ghost Says:

    What will it take for players to agree to play? Wait until a vaccine is available? What will the efficacy rate be for the new vaccine? Last years flu vaccine had an efficacy rate of 11%. Is that good enough for players to take the vaccine and play? If you don’t play this year, what will compel then to play in 2021? What will change? At some point, people are going to have to decide what is the data telling you? Contractions are going up, but fatalities are flat and low not correlating with the jump in “sickness” contractions. One poster mentioned medical profession changes their position as more data is gathered. I don’t have a problem with wearing a mask or shield. It’s more to help others feel better, it is not for health purposes. If you’re not wearing an N95 mask, you’re unprotected. The virus is to small and passes through. It’s like using a chain link fence as a window screen to prevent bugs from flying in. Also, always emphasizing outlier cases doesn’t mean it will be the norm. The evidence doesn’t support all of the fear and hate that is being displayed on sports site. The app ncrease in cases is not correlating with increased fatalities, which is great! It also tells you that this virus is not as lethal as it was portrayed to be, which is great as well. We’re at a point that you can’t trust Fox or CNN. Look at the data, which skewed, but it is showing that is not as fatal and most people recover without complications, which is great news! Again, when will players and the public choose to look at the evidence and stop living in fear? What will it take?

  53. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I know you feel compelled to go to work to support your family but you’re selling yourself short. You “could” find something else but perhaps you’re like that Jimmy Buffett Song….”It’s my job” and so you do it the best you can.

    Whatever your reason I salute you and thank you for your service in what are the front lines of today’s war. Sorry for illness in your family.

  54. webster Says:

    Opps the idiots still dont know what a job means. When you get paid for your services, thats a job. When you pay taxes after you get paid, that equates to a job. Sorry you did not get the memo. Who cares of what your opinion deems more important ie nurse or firefighter. The nfl is a $12 billion + business which means they are important to the economy. And dont be fooled because if maybe 30% of the country dont like the blm movement, you are still in the minority and will still watch the games in 2021 if this season does not happen this year. Stop acting like your view is the majority. ITS NOT!!!! These players have the right and the support to sit out this year if they want to. Again, sorry you did not get the memo. You can take your dictionary meanings etc and shove it. You get paid and pay taxes means its a job period. And btw…they dedicate more time/blood/sweat/tears to their jobs then you do. So again, GTFOOH

  55. webster Says:

    And stop acting like you care about the doctors. If you cared, then you would listen to fauci who has been the leading doctor in the world for decades. Again anyone can be a doctor. All it takes is the dedication to go to school. No athletic gene required. PROFESSIONAL SPORTS says less than 1% can do it and that is why they make millions which is well deserved and earned. Spoiled brats? I have not seen you call brad pitt or scarlett johansen etc spoiled because movies and tv shows are not being filmed right now due to covid. But sure jump on the athlete when majority or minorities because they are not willing to be at your beckon call. GTFOOH

  56. webster Says:

    ^^^^majority are minorities^^^^

  57. Mike Says:

    Baseball and hockey are largely not minorities and if they decided not to play I would call them spoiled brats too stop making EVERYTHING about race smgdh

  58. Mike Says:

    I wonder if this was Tom Brady or any other non black guy on the team if you would be so vigorous in your defense of that player…..I am willing to bet not.

  59. Mike Says:

    Ohhhh and yes Brat pit and co are overpaid spoiled brats too.

  60. Tompa Says:

    Of course Donovan Smith doesn’t want to play 😂😂😂😂

    When has that been a surprise?

  61. Todd Says:


    Everyone is under a spell.

    You can’t catch a virus (enter those words all together and add a .com at the end and watch the second video down).

    There is a literal inoculation to this boogie virus.

    Turn off your TV.



    Play ball.

  62. mark2001 Says:

    Mike…in a capitalistic society, one makes what their skills and the market will pay. So in America, nobody is overpaid…or underpaid… unless monopolies or oligopolies, or big government make it so. If ones skills allow them to make more, more power to them. And there is no monopoly or oligopoly when it comes to players, so more power to them. Owners? Yes…that is an oligopoly. But God bless America. Players are entertainers. You don’t like the salaries, choose other entertainment.

  63. mark2001 Says:

    Mike…you..Joe…I…have the right to make as much money as we legally can in America. And do Football players. God Bless America. It is called Free Enterprise…Capitalism.

  64. Mike Says:

    That’s great, But I still have the right to call them spoiled

  65. mark2001 Says:

    Sure Mike…call those with superior talent that were enabled all their lives to believe they are better than most spoiled, has some merit. And those that have been led to believe they are, even when they aren’t, and have been entitled are spoiled.

  66. Jimmy Says:

    Look at all the frauds who wanted Donovan kicked off the team because five years ago some nerd who never wore a jock because he doesn’t have a pair said Donovan should play right tackle are now all crying for him not to sit out.

  67. The Man Says:

    I don’t think Donovan Smith loves football.
    Jamis, Brady, Kwon, JPP,…. all love football. This is just a job for Donovan. From not finishing plays to this all shows me this is just a punch the time clock job to him…. Of course I don’t know him personally but this is how it looks from the outside in.

    A lot of us know coworkers like that. The minimum effort, extra long lunch, arriving late and leaving early kinda people.

  68. Joe Says:

    I don’t think Donovan Smith loves football.

    Understand what you are trying to suggest but Joe can’t go there. He’s missed one start in five years playing left tackle. Joe’s seen him at times barely able to walk. Yet he answers the bell each and every week (with one exception). If he didn’t have some level of passion for the game, he could have easily sat out some weeks with an injury and no one would have said anything about it.

  69. James Walker Says:

    I think Warren Sapp was criticized in the past for giving the EXACT reason why the NFL is doing nothing.