Liking The “Permanently Underrated” Lavonte David Re-Signing

March 19th, 2023

Analyzing re-signing.

Joe has always harped on how iconic Bucs linebacker Lavonte David has been underrated.

When you post Hall of Fame numbers like David does but rarely make a Pro Bowl, Joe doesn’t know if that says more about the Pro Bowl or the abject ignorance of those voting.

Over at BSPN, Seth Walder, a guy who never met a number he didn’t like, really enjoyed the Bucs re-signing David last week. If the Bucs were a Super Bowl contender.

In the big picture, Walder doesn’t see the purpose of re-signing David to a one-year deal when Walder believes that same Team Glazer loot could be used on wiser long-term investments.

Overall, Walder believes the re-signing of David wasn’t bad.

Grade: C+

I’ve always liked David, a permanently underrated linebacker who excels in coverage. Like with other Buccaneers moves, this grade is less a reflection of the player and more about the Bucs’ situation. Signing David to a one-year contract in line with the linebacker market this offseason certainly makes sense for a team trying to win the Super Bowl. But I don’t see how that correlates to the Bucs, who have Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask at quarterback.

For Tampa Bay, this contract takes away $7 million it could spend next year or the year after, when it could be a contender again. Plus the late-round compensatory pick the Bucs would likely receive if David signed somewhere else is gone. I continue to believe the right move for Tampa Bay is to rebuild.

Walder isn’t wrong about rebuilding but rebuilding also means Todd Bowles gets fired unless Bowles has it written into his contract that he could stay through a tanking season. And Joe knows Bowles wants no part of that.

Joe believes the Bucs have been in an internal tug-of-war. Yeah, the Bucs should rebuild. On the other end, Bowles (and his staff) want to win. What do you do?

Sorry, Joe just cannot get worked up about compensatory draft picks. These are mostly third-day draft picks (a year after the fact) and the batting average of these guys panning out is poor.

Joe would rather see a team sign backups and special teams dudes who have demonstrated they aren’t fully lost on an NFL field rather than being “awarded” with a Kenny Bell type a year later.

36 Responses to “Liking The “Permanently Underrated” Lavonte David Re-Signing”

  1. Mike S Says:

    Trying to cobble together a winner from spare parts is a pipe dream.

    Build through the draft. Develop players. Sign impact free agents when you think you are close.

    Bringing back David isn’t going to hurt the team short or long term.

    If the Bucs can draft Henley (or someone like him) they can bring him along behind Lavonte and be better prepared for the position turnover.

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs have too many good players to tank – er “rebuild”….

    Wirfs, Jensen, Evans, Godwin, Vea, Barrett, LD54, White, Davis, Dean, Winfield

    Thats 11 players that any team in the league would gladly sign to a market price contract – half your starters are pro bowlers or very close to that level….

    You sign your own quality starters and roll players back as best you can, add a couple good but affordable pieces in FA like Mayfield and the new DT and then kick some ass in the draft.

    Who says that strategy for this team can’t equate to a good season and maybe even a deep playoff run? Because it can. Doesn’t mean it will – but it is certainly possible for the Bucs to have a surprisingly “good” 2023 season.

    I like the way Jason Licht and co. are handling this first financially difficult season in the post-Brady era…..

  3. Iamabuc Says:

    In Licht I trust. We’ll be alright. Just Go Bucs.

  4. Joe Says:

    Bucs have too many good players to tank – er “rebuild”….


  5. Goatfarmer Says:

    And the Bucs rebuilds take an average of 12 years to complete, including much coaching and front office carnage.

    Time to do it like the Steelers. After the 5-12 season in 2023, with all the moves Bowels wanted, Licht can fire Bowels, hire the next head coach, and follow the Steelers model. (In case you didn’t know, in 15 seasons under Tomlin, they’ve never had a losing season.)

  6. Crickett Baker Says:

    I completely agree with Pickgrin–AND Licht who says we have a shot at the division this year as well as climbing out of cap Hell, mostly. So who can possibly say we don’t need LVD this year as WELL as next year (please keep holding on to health). Silly people say we should tank this year. For whom? And how BORING! This season is gearing up to be interesting and bordering on exciting. GO BUCS!

  7. unbelievable Says:

    Well said pickgrin, though we have know idea what Shaq will be anymore… and White is overrated, IMO.

    But overall I agree.

  8. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Regardless of the scenario, if the coaches want him here and he wants to be here;

    You sign him.

    I don’t care who gives us an F grade. It’s an A grade inside Buc Palace.

  9. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    I also think Gholston will be back on another team friendly deal.

  10. westernbuc Says:

    This is why you should never trust someone who sees everyone as a number. We’re going to have a huge void in leadership on the offensive side of the ball. To act like that doesn’t matter is nonsense. The NFC is wide open, and quite frankly even if we wanted to tank we couldn’t because the falcons and panthers are probably going to suck. Play to win the game. We should be NFC south contenders.

  11. Idahobucfan4life Says:

    LVD still has gas in his tank, plus he’s dedicated his entire career to this team. Some loyalty is in order.

  12. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Tanking never guarantees that anyone will find their franchise QB in the draft. How soon people around here forget that we took Jameis Winston with the first pick in 2015. What did that get us? Five years of frustration as fans. Winning organizations are forever churning their rosters in order to keep their teams competitive. We lucked out and Tom Brady came to us just at the right time to help put us over the top. Los Angeles acquired Matthew Stafford Stafford from Detroit when their latest Super Bowl window was wide open. Let’s bury the stupid notion about tanking and never bring it up again, please! Enough said!

    Keeping LVD alongside Devin White for another year is a good investment. Not to mention that David is much loved by paying fans as well.

  13. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Stafford Stafford … 🙄😫 What can I say? I’m just another goofy insomniac putting his two cents in. 😊

  14. steele Says:

    What Pickgrin says is technically true. There is veteran talent on the roster.

    The central issue, however, is Todd Bowles and coaching. It doesn’t matter who is on the roster, or if it is a superstar-filled roster, if the team is mismanaged on multiple levels. What were the last two seasons about but bad coaching of good talent, underperforming, making mistakes, mentally checking out, being confused, saddled with stupid plays and game plans. Our QB was the greatest to ever play the game, they wasted his final seasons. (And no, he was not so washed that he couldn’t still perform at a SB level on a better coached team.)

    Until this changes, I see no reason to set high expectations. The priority needs to be getting past Bowles Ball, no matter what the result, and reset this team completely.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘Joe believes the Bucs have been in an internal tug-of-war. Yeah, the Bucs should rebuild. On the other end, Bowles (and his staff) want to win. What do you do?’

    I agree with the ‘internal tug-of-war’ analogy wholeheartedly. As I look at our initial moves in free agency, we’ve signed THREE big pieces on defense … Dean, LVD & Gaines … and several smaller pieces … Delaney, O’Connor & Gill. On offense, we’ve signed ONE potentially big piece … Mayfield … but released several other big pieces … D Smith, Fournette, Mason, Brate.

    You know Licht & Bowles much better than we do Joe, but I’d say the signings thus far reflect what Bowles wants on his defense & what Licht wants to do on offense (ie, Bowles is pulling the strings on the defense ‘rebuilding’ while Licht is doing the same on offense).

    I suspect that’ll continue to play out for the rest of free agency AND for the draft. Personally I think our ownership is a LOT more committed now to Bowles’ vision of a more BALANCED TEAM (ie, more ‘balance’ between the offensive & defensive sides of the ball than they are to JL’s vision of an OFFENSIVE POWERHOUSE like we built under BA).

    In reality, BOTH sides of the ball will be undergoing a major transition here IMO. It’ll be interesting to see if either side becomes truly dominant in the long run. Eventually, BOTH sides MUST rebuild through the draft regardless; we can’t afford the alternative of buying our way out of the hole we’ve dug.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin … You nailed it. I’m ‘cautiously optimistic’ about 2023 after our initial signings.

  17. Kalind Says:

    That tug of war is exactly correct Joe. And that’s why they should have launched Bowles with Leftwich. Now, we’re destined for franchise purgatory for the next 3-5 years. Minnesota Vikings Land. Hooray.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m more of a long-term advocate….would rather have spent the money on SMB/Edwards/Neal than LVD…..and like comp picks because they can be used to move up in the draft.

    But, with LVD it is the intangibles that matter…..his leadership…and experience and most of all the statement that signing him by the Bucs organization that matters.

    When you weigh it all….it was a good signing.

  19. Joe Swanson Says:

    We are not capable of developing a quarterback might as well go after Lamar Jackson.

  20. Allbuccedup Says:

    I am sure we will be signing Murphy-Bunting next week.

  21. Hodad Says:

    Can’t rebuild, or replace every position all at once. We are thin at LB as it is. We will draft at least one. This guy fails to see we have to field a team. David is more then just a player. He’s a team captain, veteran leader that even a team rebuilding needs to keep. Having David will help any defensive players we draft this year develop more quickly. This was the best 7 mill Licht has spent so far.

  22. Wade Landry Says:

    Do you see the NFC…?….no Brady,no Rodgers…who are the “elite QB’s in the conference?…DC…GS…JH….MS..really happy 😃 for Geno,great story…but seriously, Derrick “iwillchokeinbigsituations”Carr…he is the divisions best QB ? …Wow!people,N F C is wide open,…oh,sorry,I forgot DJ and sleep systems in Dallas… Andy Dalton ,who can’t win aPO game…oh yeah, also this years #1pick….like BM was and let’s not forget JW…come the F on…NFCis wide open,might be fun this year who knows….?…the Joes Knows….to quote AR…RELAX! Who cares what the Tampa bay hating national media thinks…we got the Real Mike Greenberg here anyway….enjoy this beautiful day in Tampa Bay! !..

  23. Buc4evr Says:

    If we can get good play out of the quarterback whoever that may be, the Bucs still have enough talent to win the division. Can they go deep into the playoffs, probably not without more depth and better coaching. Looking at the off season moves so far, it looks like the Bucs are not going into a rebuild mode any time soon.

  24. Beej Says:

    Bucs have NO one to plug into LD’s spot, which would mean drafting and starting a rookie. Hopefully they draft one THIS year

  25. Robert Says:

    Replay d brooks last year. smh

  26. Voice of Truth Says:

    The issue wasn’t the roster last year and looks like it won’t be the issue this year either, miraculously

    JL and crew are crushing it. The focus swings squarely back on Bowles

    5 seasons as a HC, 1 winning record

    If we got 8 wins with Brady and a team full of veterans, what is Bowles going to deliver with this definitely less talented roster?

    6 wins maybe?

    We are all happy with what they have been able to pull off this far, but again in Bowles we have zero trust it will be coached, gameplaned, and executed competently

  27. David Says:

    It’s a great signing for several reasons.
    1. He needs to retire Buc
    2. He was healthy last year and he has not lost a step.
    3. Playing at the pro bowl level still.
    4. What you get for the value with what he signed for… Fantastic.

  28. teacherman777 Says:

    @idahobuc fan


    Loyalty to our players is what helped us to re-sign at a hometown discount.

    Licht is treating our players with respect and dignity.

    So our players are playing hard for the Bucs.

    I think that treating our players with love is a great business strategy.

    Go Bucs!

  29. Cobraboy Says:

    David showed loyalty to this team even in bad seasons.

    Gans should show the guy some mutual loyalty.

    It’s not like the guy is washed, because he’s not. The team got a good, loyal player on a hometown discount.

    I expect David to be in the RoH, and a staple of the Tampa community for the rest of his years as a man.

    I am glad he’s back, and suspect he will retire at the end of this deal.

  30. Robert Says:

    Respect, dignity, hometown discount blah, blah, blah.

    It’s a business…the players know it as does everyone involved.

    Bad signing imo. as is keeping ME.

    Using band aids on a broken dam……… just kicking the can is all they are doing.

    Rip the band aid off already….cause I sure do not want to give bowls even a glimmer of hope to be this teams coach in the future. Lose fans for 1 year….or a 1/2 dozen years if bowls stays.

  31. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    I disagree with Walder about this issue. Even if the Bucs were in rebuilding mode, having David there to help new players coming in via the draft and free agency will be priceless.

    And with the talent on the team now the Bucs should be able to compete for the NFC South Championship this season given the division they’re in. I bet the Glazers are expecting that they DO compete for the division championship!

    The Glazers have had their fill of losing seasons in recent years. There’s no need to tank in order to acquire a good QB. If Mayfield or Trask don’t demonstrate they’re the answer this upcoming season there will be other QB’s available next season via free agency as there are every year.

  32. Goatfarmer Says:

    This roster is now good enough for an average head coach to win the division. So when Bloweszo records his 5th consecutive losing season, he’s easily fired. I’m excited about who might be the Bucs head coach in 2024.

  33. Winny Testaverde Says:

    When DirtStar Dominik kicked off his reign of terrible ( ironically he drafted David…perhaps his best pick ever ) by cutting Brooks # 55…it left a sour taste for years. Davis still has some gas in the tank…and this allows him to retire a Buc ( if he so chooses ). Seven million for 2023 is a fair price as well.

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    I read his full article, and all the Bucs signings, and he didn’t like any of them since he thinks the Bucs need to be rebuilding, not just limp along to be a 6-11 team. I actually agree with that, kinda.

    For example, he used that same reasoning with Dean resigning (and incorrectly said he got $16m, he got $13m). In that case, he’s wrong, Dean is young and you lock up those guys. The Bucs need to rebuild, not tear down the foundation and start over.

    As for David, that’s tougher. The NFL is entertainment, and no one wants to see John Wayne doing movies for the chicom at the end of his career. You want to see him go out as the guy you always knew him as. So to try to sell tickets, you want a fan favorite around – plus he’s still really good. But yeah, you’re pushing a $7m cap hit onto next year, and for what purpose? Still, it’d be hard to let David walk, in particular for what appears to be a below market deal. Fans would be outraged if they learned they could have kept David on the cheap.

  35. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Soooo pumped we got our guy back. LVD is the heart n soul of this defense and I’d even say the whole team he might be quit but his play speaks volume. Let go. Someone else commented and said another year LVD can help mentor DW45 which is a great point. Win/win yall

  36. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    I’m amazed how many people would never give up in a game, are totally okay with giving up on a season before it’s even started.

    You never know what is going to happen. Tons of examples. And if the Bucs make the Super Bowl, signing David becomes an A+++ move.