Bucky Brooks: Lavonte David A Priority

March 1st, 2021

NFL analyst explains.

Damn, Joe does not envy Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht these days.

The guy barely had enough time to recover from his Super Bowl hangover before facing arguably the toughest task of his career: keeping the Bucs’ band together for a repeat run.

Joe has been clear his top free agents are No. 1A Shaq Barrett, No. 1B Chris Godwin and No. 2 Ryan Succop.

But what about linebacker Lavonte David? This is where Joe begins to feel ill.

Joe would neither be surprised nor disappointed if David told Licht, “I’ve got my ring, now I’m going for the paycheck” and signs with the highest bidder. Joe wouldn’t blame him one bit. This is very likely the last big contract David, 31, will get as an NFL player.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com seems to think Licht needs to bite the bullet here. Brooks lists his top-five Bucs free agents (Shaq, Godwin, David, Ndamukong Suh and foot-rubbing, car-littering Rob Gronkowski) and thinks if the Bucs are serious about repeating, Licht has to bring David back.

The veteran linebacker keys the Buccaneers’ defensive dominance with his stellar play beside Devin White. Like Pac-Man eats power pellets, the duo gobbles up ball-carriers as explosive sideline-to-sideline defenders with outstanding instincts and playmaking ability. Despite his advanced age (31), David is worth the investment as the leader of a defense who sets the tone with physicality and toughness.

Joe hears the voice of Bill Walsh in his head. Walsh always said it is better to let a player walk too early than too late. The Bucs could likely draft a linebacker at No. 32 who could contribute (Missouri’s Nick Bolton?) whereas a rookie rarely has an impact at pass rusher (if Shaq walks).

Either way, the thought of David playing elsewhere in 2021 makes Joe want to puke. At least, David finally got his playoff appearance (and a ring!) with the Bucs.

28 Responses to “Bucky Brooks: Lavonte David A Priority”

  1. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Joe if you could only choose 1 to sign to a 3 year deal who would it be:

    Shaq or Lavonte?

  2. Joe Says:


    (A good) Pass rusher all day, every day.


  3. Duemig from HELL Says:

    Lavonte & Godwin are gone. Plan B

  4. Adrnagy Says:

    Shaq is not a good pass rusher. Stop it.

    Shaq needs vea , jpp and $20M a yr to get you 8 sacks lol.

    David #1 priority. David = ronde barber, Derrick brooks.

  5. Marine Buc Says:

    I believe incentives are paid and count towards next years salary cap if they are earned. Like Tom Brady’s $3.5 million extra he earned this year.

    Is it possible we see several contracts structured this way for the 2021 season in order to push cap dollars into next season when the salary cap is increased?

  6. View from 132 Says:

    Wow, that’s really ridiculous Ardnagy. Are you too young to remember Ronde and Derrick or too old to know remember? David is not Derrick, and the comparison to Ronde is a little off the wall.

    I’d wish him well. He’s up in age, played a ton of football, absorbed a bunch of hits, and has played his best season(s) already. There are young OLBs that can play.

  7. SB Says:

    Shaq or Lavonte
    The answer is both. Shaq cannot not do what he does without LVD Back there in the middle

  8. SB Says:

    Both over Succop and Godwin

  9. Bird Says:

    Shaq is the first edge rusher in NFL history with 19.5 sacks in a season who is simply not a good pass rusher


    Yah. Shaq just got lucky. Guys tripped and he fell on them and got credit


  10. Bucthis Says:

    132 totally agree and roll the tape back and watch LVD playing catch-up in the middle and we all know the leader is White, but resign Minter to replace David. I think the guy is a total class act and thank him for sticking around all these years, but not worth another big contract. I love Godwin as well, but not for 20 million a year and has anyone else seen Tyler Johnson ? That kid is a stud and could totally replace Chris and if not draft one. Cutting Brate and Jensen would free up 16-17 million and yes like both guys and their contributions, but they are also very replaceable. Sign Shaq and Succop to 3 year deals and give Shaq a huge signing bonus and if not then oh well and not going to be hard like years past to bring in FAs to come chase rings. Also sign Antonio to a 3 year deal with many incentives and let’s go for two in a row !! Whatever the Bucs do I will support, but seeing all this stuff about LVD and Godwin being must signs is ridiculous!!! Oh and lastly if Lenny goes Please Jason and the front office find a way to draft Najee Harris because he’s a man child !! Why does Rojo get so much disrespect? Him and Harris in the backfield would be pure gold .. GO BUCS

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    It was bad before, but now I am banging my f#cking head into a wall with this David is too old. Like Shaq is a spring chicken like Godwin. Shaq’s three years behind LVD. Maybe the nationalist, but seriously, Joe? We just won the SB with a 43 year old QB!!! LVD might have had his best year in 2020.

    Lavonte is the gravity to this defense. You dumba$$’ wanna take money you could use on David and sign Shaq you’re all idiots to boot. Let him walk and this defense begins to implode in the next two years if not next season.

  12. 813bucboi Says:


    a more serious question would be: who’d you keep joe…rachel or shaq?…lol…

    joe has been hot in the pants for a pass rusher for years…lol…and i dont blame him….

    i’d pick shaq on a 3year deal too and try to land dylan moses from bama…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  13. Beeej Says:

    Is there ANYone on the roster who can do the pass coverage things LD does?

  14. ncbucsfan Says:

    Love Shaq! Love him as a person too! Giving him $20M/yr would be plain stupid! I’d take a page from Belichik on this one because he let Chandler Jones walk and was back in the Super Bowl multiple times afterwards. Nick Bolton is NOT Lavonte David btw! That’s a draft analyst assessment that stinks in my opinion. Bolton can’t cover and is not the athlete David is at 31 (did yall see Lavonte sprint vs Devin White?) The 2021 draft class is deep with pass rushers!! Deep! I’ve seen Joe Tryon and Azeez Ojulari mocked low 1st to mid 2nd rd and they both are good ones. Jalean Phillips, Kwity Paye, Rousseau, Ojulari, Ossai, Carlos Basham….I mean my goodness. Look at the tape! Anyone of them will save you $15M+/yr against Shaq, are 5 years younger and would enable a situational pass rusher to be signed and have depth at the position. Shaq should NOT be prioritized…not this year!

  15. ncbucsfan Says:

    813 bucboi: And Dylan Moses lacks instincts and is trash in pass coverage. He is not a Lavonte substitute. Now if we could get Zavien Collins, I’d change my mind on Lavonte. But he is heads and shoulders better than any ILB in this draft….period! 3 yrs for Lavonte!!

  16. Coburn Says:

    As much as I love David’s plays in the backfield, it’s his coverage ability that is so invaluable. While Shaq was chasing mahommes around all night David was doing a pretty solid job keeping my Kelce contained at least until they had a big lead and kept it all in front of them. Both him and Shaq were so valuable. I’d argue more than Godwin in postseason, but would hate to lose such a young, hard working receiver who has all the potential he does.. he was dealing with that broken finger too. Tough choices

  17. BamaRich Says:

    Personally my priorities would start with everyone on defense. We can’t afford to take a step back on this side of the ball.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    I’d let Godwin walk before losing Barrett or David.

  19. Buczilla Says:

    David has shown no signs of slowing down despite what some in the national media would have you believe. He’s had zero major injuries in his career and he’s probably the third best off ball linebacker in our teams history. He deserves a decent raise and unless he is asking for crazy $, it should be a priority (Shaq, Suh, kicker, and then David) to bring him back.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Agreed. David and Godwin can be replaced. Godwin’s replacement, Tyler Johnson, is already on the roster. Just as David taught White, White is ready to teach a rookie. Can’t keep everyone. Shaq is the #1 priority. Historically, no rookie, at least where we pick, even comes close.

  21. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Agreed. David and Godwin can be replaced. Godwin’s replacement, Tyler Johnson, is already on the roster. Just as David taught White, White is ready to teach a rookie. Can’t keep everyone. Shaq is the #1 priority. Historically, no rookie, at least where we pick, even comes close.

  22. geno711 Says:

    @ncbucsfan Says:

    I am confused – are all the guys you list as pass rushers going to hit that are in the draft?

    Please pick the two best out of that group. I foresee you picking one Tryon, Ojulari, Phillips, Paye, Rousseau, Ojulari, Ossai, and Basham and telling the rest of us in 8 months we should have drafted him. I personally like Tryon.

    I will say at least half of these guys will have less than 5 sacks next year. Also, that every single one of them play less snaps than Barrett played for us last year. That none of them get the total number of tackles and only one will reach the 8 sack total next year.

    How many of these guys even played in a 3-4 defense or the left side of the defense as Shaq did for us? Sure some guys can transition but others cannot.

    But I do agree with you that getting a cover linebacker out of college this year to replace White will be almost impossible.

  23. SickofLosing Says:

    Joes, what do you think about Ruben Foster? WFT just released him. I know he has been a problem but I think Mr 7 rings and Sue and JPP might be able to steer him in the right direction

  24. Jonzey Says:

    Shaq had a terrible year he didn’t even have double digits sacks the regular season he showed up in the playoffs when Big V played. We can do without him I want Von Miller.

  25. Mike Says:

    Whatever happens, at least Lavonte finally got us a ring and some national recognition. I hope the Bucs can keep him, but if he gets big money elsewhere, I wish him the best. A truly great Buc!

  26. ncbucsfan Says:

    Geno: Analytically speaking I agree with you whole-heartedly regarding what will be the production of the rookie Edge-rushers in the draft. However, numerous variables such as, as you mentioned, scheme, depth (opportunity) and injuries are situational and are not taken into account. Each one of those mentioned can play in our scheme because Bowles base is a 3-4, but most of the time we are in a 4-down lineman set out of some variation of a nickel/dime package. Bowles is a blitzer and his scheme leads to sacks. Devin White doesn’t get 9 sacks in a different non-blitzing scheme, but you can’t say he wouldn’t be capable if he played in a old-school Tampa 2 where the MLB never blitzes!! The point is, Shaq benefits from the inside pressure Bowles scheme puts and that HAS to be taken into account.

  27. Bucfan81 Says:

    We need to bring as many people back as possible especially on the defense. Even if you have to risk being in cap hell like the saints. It is worth risking the cap now in the small window we have which is like maybe 2 years left with Brady. After that we will be back to sucking again for another 10 plus years so we can fix the cap issues then.

  28. westernbuc Says:

    Godwin is more replaceable than Lavonte.