The Future Of Lavonte David

November 17th, 2022

What happens in 2023?

Periodically this season, Joe has caught himself watching linebacker stud Lavonte David and becoming melancholy.

David is one of Joe’s favorite players. He ought to be considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday. But Joe gets a tinge depressed from time to time watching David this fall because Joe has a bad feeling David is playing his last season in Tampa.

David will turn 33 before the NFC championship game. And there aren’t too many expensive linebackers who stick with their teams at that age. David signed a two-year, $25,000,000 contract before last season.

Earlier this spring, David was asked if this was his last year with the Bucs. He sighed and confessed he didn’t know. David clearly didn’t want to think about moving on.

However, former Jets and Dolphins general manager Mike Tannenbaum isn’t buying that the Bucs are done with David. In compiling a list of the top-25 free agents for 2023, Tannenbaum, typing for BSPN, tried to guess who will stay with his current team.

Tannenbaum doesn’t believe the Bucs can afford to let David walk.

Even with Devin White in the fold, it’s David who remains the QB of the Bucs’ defense. Tampa Bay will continue to hang onto its own and bring back the veteran.

To Joe there is no question that David is the best and most consistent Bucs defender, with the possible exception of Antoine Winfield.

If Tom Brady calls it quits after this year and David walks, then the Bucs will be hurting losing their best players from each side of the ball.

27 Responses to “The Future Of Lavonte David”

  1. Coburn Says:

    Hate seeing favourite players getting older. Might be my second favourite buc right now after Evans

  2. Eric Says:

    “Knock knock”
    who’s there???

    Not Ryan Jensen

  3. Goatfarmer Says:

    Keep the old man and let the Diva walk. Get another rookie stud for LVD to me too. One that will listen to him.

  4. geno711 Says:

    Gronk was at USAA on Bruce B Downs yesterday.

    He looked very fit but a very, very thin fit. Maybe able to catch passes but no inline blocking for him.

    Anyway, one man’s opinion.

  5. sasquatch Says:

    geno711 Says:
    November 17th, 2022 at 12:39 am

    Gronk was at USAA on Bruce B Downs yesterday.

    He looked very fit but a very, very thin fit. Maybe able to catch passes but no inline blocking for him.

    “I’m done with football.” –Gronk

    There have been no indications that he wasn’t sincere in that statement.

    Otton is the present and future for us.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs are caught between a rock & a hard place next year because we’ve screwed the salary CAP pooch once too many times.

    Salary CAP for 2023 is ESTIMATED to be $218,200,000. Bucs have a ‘rollover’ $2,741,751 from 2022 giving us an adjusted $220.941,751 to play with.

    We already have 32 players under contract from this year’s team whose contracts total $216,952,395 PLUS another 5 players (Brady, LVD, Hicks, Julio & Gholston) who are free agents but whose earlier contracts we’ll still be paying on … contracts totaling $52,718,527. That’s almost one-quarter of our 2023 projected salary CAP.

    So we’ve got only 32 players under contract who are basically eating up over 99% of our projected CAP PLUS we’re also committed to pay another 24% of that projected CAP to players we’d no longer own. Thankfully our Dead CAP as of now is a very low $277,221. And oh ya, we’d still have to sign another 23 players to our 55-man roster (to include our 2023 draft class plus at least some of our 27 free agents).

    Chances are probably pretty good that Brady won’t be back with the Bucs next season, as well as Julio. But the other 3 (Hicks, Gholston AND LVD) will very likely be re-signed IMO. Reason? It’s advantageous to the Bucs to do so from a salary CAP perspective because we could then rework their contracts and slide much if not most into 2024 & 2025. That’d still give us 3 key vets AND help us to weather the 2023 salary CAP dilemma (that’s the worst year we’ll have to contend with … as of now at least).

    Interestingly, all 3 of those players are DEFENSE. Two are starters, 1 has been a key rotational player. We can’t backfill that with draft picks; too many other needs for 2023. And we don’t have the money to ‘buy our way out’ with new quality free agents. Yup, rock and a hard place.

  7. Mike C Says:

    Eric, he is on IR

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    I just hope he can stay healthy for a playoff run. He’s as dependable as it gets. We’ve seen this defense without him.

    DR- Great breakdown. I think they keep LVD too but Hicks and Gholston, I’m not so sure. If Hall can develop, he replaces one or both. Then, we can backfill accordingly. Admittedly, this defense looks a LOT better with Hicks in the lineup. But, for how long? That’s the real issue, he can’t stay healthy.
    Just my opinion.

  9. #99 Says:

    Defense Rules,
    always like reading your posts. Very informative. You are very knowledgeable of the’s better than reading Goat farmer and Rod Munch’s negative bull crap.. Those two if I had to make a bet are The old men “Get Off My Lawn guys”

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucsfanman … Gholston I agree with you on (he’s getting less & less def snaps for some reason), but Hicks is invaluable (just like Suh was). Vea has to be held down to about 60% of the def snaps to be effective. Whether Hicks can stay healthy or not is a whole nuther question.

    I’m not very enthusiastic admittedly about Hall playing on the interior, and I’m still convinced he’s more suited as a DE in Bowles’ defense. Against the Seahawks he only got 16 snaps & registered nada on stats. Against the Rams he only got 9 snaps & also registered nada on stats. Against the Ravens he was in on less than 40% of the snaps & got 2 tackle assists. Color me not impressed. Out at DE though may be different.

  11. orlbucfan Says:

    DR, you’re one of the reasons I follow this site. Also follow your very well thought-out comments. Bowles is a Defensive man at heart. He know LVD is getting long in the tooth, but is invaluable as a player and a (quiet) leader. He’s a class act off the field, too. I trust that both he and Licht will figure something out in the off-season. I really want LVD to retire as a HOFamer Buc. He’s my favorite on the team, hands-down.

  12. Beej Says:

    I expect LVD has one more year in him, doesn’t seem to have lost a step yet. Does Brady have less or MORE of a cap hit if he plays again next year?

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If the right player is there, we need to draft LVD’s replacement.

    DR….thanks for the reality …..Let’s hope Joe pays some attention to that so we won’t be bombarded with all these (……and the Bucs) articles.
    A lineup of un-affordable free agents.

  14. JA Says:


    My research tells me the Bucs, with contract salary, an estimated 19th pick in first round, signing bonus payouts like 10 million to Brady whether here or not and dead cap will result in the Bucs being a cool 49 million over the cap.
    Obviously, the cap is like play dough. It can be molded or sculpted into most anything you want. But next year will require a Michelangelo to achieve a pleasing result.

  15. Duane Says:

    55 said it right years ago- If they want to keep you, they will find a way. The team will likely make an offer, but I can see LVD taking a better offer somewhere else. Even if this team enjoys success this year, its likely to look much different next year. Considering the rest of the teams in the division are resetting their rosters, I do see merit in keeping our better players for competitive edge.

  16. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    “If Tom Brady calls it quits after this year and David walks, then the Bucs will be hurting losing their best players from each side of the ball.”

    When that happens I’m afraid it wont take long for that rotten culture to show its ugly head again.

  17. Erik Hesson | Fine Artist | Founder of Says:

    Knock knock.

    Who’s there?

    I eat mop.


  18. Anonymous Says:

    brady isnt going to another team stop the stupidity.

  19. Buddha Says:

    David will end his career with the Buccaneers without a doubt. They have to figure out a way to sign Dean who has been truly stellar this year.

  20. Winky Says:

    David has been a great Buccaneer!

  21. SOEbuc Says:

    My favorite Buc all time. Please retire as a Buc Lavonte. He has not played as well this year. Try to keep him on a one year deal. To good of a leader on the field and community to let him go.

  22. Browsing from DC Says:

    I think another team would have to offer David a minimum of a 3-year deal, guarantees and a pretty considerable pay increase to pry him away from the Bucs. He has roots here, no state income taxes for 1/2 of his game checks, etc. He also never struck me as a “mercenary” type of player who just sees dollar signs or “greener pastures” elsewhere.

    He still has plenty in the tank but I wonder if a team will go multi-year contract for him at his age. I love the guy but the Bucs shouldn’t break the bank to keep him. They also shouldn’t insult him with a low-ball contract. Don’t burn that bridge because I can see him taking a coaching job here after he retires.

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    Get off my lawn.

  24. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – You ever get any clarity on how the void year dead cap space works? My understanding is that you pay those void years regardless of if a player signs a new deal or not. If that’s the case, the only way they’d be able to afford to keep David would be with another void year deal, where maybe he gets the vet miniumn in 2023, and then another huge void year hit in 2024.

    If Brady isn’t back, and I also assume he won’t be (hope I’m wrong), then I don’t know why the Bucs wouldn’t go into full rebuild mode at that point. The team isn’t winning anything with Trask, I think that’s very unlikely in any case, so you might as well use 2023 as a cap hit year and try to absorb as much pain as you can, so when the cap does shoot up in 2024, you’ll have a ton of money to play with and can quickly be back into contention.

    If Brady did want to play, and come back to the Bucs, in 2023, then Licht is going to have to do some real wizardry to keep the team in tact and not lose too much talent. It’s certainly possible, I’ve laid out a scenario previously that involves cutting a lot of guys like Shaq, D Smith, Fournette, Mason – and then use a bunch more void year trickery, and you could even sign one or two lower level FAs that maybe take a cheap deal. So it is possible to keep Brady.

    But without Brady, I don’t know why you’d bother to keep Hicks, Gholston, and unfortunately, David, since the team is not going to be competitive.

    If I’m the Bucs, I do any and everything possible to keep Brady playing as long as he wants to play, because the second he retires, the Bucs fall off the football map and won’t be heard of again for probably a couple of decades.

  25. Ben Harvey Says:

    Should have traded for Roquan Smith. Could have used him in sub packages with White as a dedicated rusher in place of an OLB. Losing Barrett hurts and I was hoping they would get creative. Smith could have been David’s replacement should he retire. Hopefully he stays as long as his play allows him to.

  26. Crickett Baker Says:

    No one knows enough to knock Kyle Trask. I am so sick of hearing uneducated opinions. Kyle is a protegee of Brady’s and he will probably NEVER be BAD. No one will ever be as good of a QB as Tom, but we have a defense. Kyle may make a damn good QB. It is waay too early to diss him, imo.

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    Rid Munch … ‘The team isn’t winning anything with Trask, I think that’s very unlikely in any case, so you might as well use 2023 as a cap hit year and try to absorb as much pain as you can’.

    I disagree big-time about Kyle Trask but IMO you’re right about 2023 because … there are no more rabbits left in the hat. We’ve restructured all our contracts already (snuffed out that rabbit) AND we’re already WAY OVER the projected 2023 salary CAP as it is. And because we restructured everyone’s contracts, we can’t cut folks under contract without getting hit with huge Dead CAP numbers. We wouldn’t cut are big guys anyways (Donovan, Evans, Shaq, Godwin, Davis, Vea, Jensen).

    In terms of Hicks, LVD & maybe Gholston, without our #4 defense even Tom Brady couldn’t save this team. Who are you going to replace them with, draft picks? Ya, that’ll work, until the first game. Replacing veteran starters with cheap look-alikes rarely ends well, even if the replacements are veterans themselves.

    Crickett Baker … I’m with you; gets tiring hearing folks cut down Kyle Trask without a shred of proof to back up their contentions. Got a hunch that Jordan Love is going through much the same treatment though up in Green Bay behind Aaron Rodgers, and he was a 1st Rnd pick. our offense will surely change when Trask takes over (and he WILL tae over because he’s all we can afford), but with a solid defense we can’t do any worse than we did for the 1st half of this season (162 points in 9 games?).