Another Voice Hints Bucs Could Bring Back Donovan Smith

April 10th, 2023


After saying this nearly a month ago on the Ira Kaufman Podcast, Joe then heard this suggestion maybe 10 days ago from BSPN analyst Mina Kimes. Now another outfit suggests this.

Is left tackle Donovan Smith really done with the Bucs?

Nate Bouda of NFL Team Rumors seems to think there is a chance of a return.

Joe has heard former general managers claim over the years that a regular ploy to get their own players to redo a deal for lesser cash is to tell them that they will release them so they can test the market. If their current team’s deal still interests them after shopping the league, then please call back.

Could this be what Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht did with Smith? Did the Bucs want to rework his deal and Smith and his agent refused? So Licht told them to go find a better offer?

Bouda thinks Smith could land with three teams. One is the Bucs.

…Tampa Bay might not be entirely out of the question if Smith is willing to sign a cheap deal. The Bucs have already kept a bunch of players they were expected to lose this offseason.

As things stand, they either need to shift RT Tristan Wirfs to the left side or go with someone like Brandon Walton or Justin Skule protecting QB Baker Mayfield‘s blindside. Smith would be a major upgrade over either.

Now Joe will add an interesting nugget concerning Smith and a potential return. Notice that Smith has yet to say goodbye to Bucs fans on any of his social media platforms as Playoff Lenny did? This may not mean a damn thing because Smith is well aware how harsh many Bucs fans have been to him over the years. Joe wouldn’t be shocked if Smith doesn’t give one flip what Bucs fans think or want.

But it is a bit strange that a guy who spent eight years as a starter for a team that won a Super Bowl didn’t offer some sort of a doff of the cap on social media.

Maybe he knows the Bucs haven’t locked the door on a return?

(The flip side here Smith scrubbed his Instagram account. This is basically the 21st century version of telling someone, “Eff you!”)

Also, Joe knows Smith is quite savvy with his finances. He (and his agent) may just be playing the waiting game for a team to see its left tackle goes down in training camp injured and very quickly Smith has the upper hand in negotiations.

There aren’t too many left tackles on the street that have blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher, two different quarterbacks who threw for over 5,000 yards in a season, and who won a Super Bowl all with the same team in an eight-year span.

35 Responses to “Another Voice Hints Bucs Could Bring Back Donovan Smith”

  1. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Two things from the Dave Canales presser:

    1) Canales said he wants high-energy players.

    2) He said he wasn’t going to do something just because it was done that way in the past. If he meant that, Wirfs is the new Left Tackle.

  2. Hodad Says:

    Smith’s best days are behind him. What good is getting a guy back who’s play has slipped to the point of being a liability?

  3. garro Says:

    Or Smith could just be doing the veteran I dont wanna do OTAs or camp thing and waiting?

  4. 40Forever Says:

    Most penalized left tackle in the league?

  5. Tap-Out Says:

    If Wirfs is the new L Tackle and ….the new coach is truly changing the norm then bring D Smith back and make him a R Tackle ….problem solved!!

  6. There"s Hope 2023 Says:

    hey Joe ……. what is the definition of cheap

  7. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Whatever. He proved himself more of a liability than an asset. End of story.

  8. Beej Says:

    Some team will pick him up at the end of training camp, owing to injury

  9. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    NO NO and HE!! NO

  10. gotbbucs Says:


  11. Duane Says:

    Given Jason Licht’s predilection for drafting offensive linemen on days one and two, it seems that the Bucs are likely to have no interest in re-signing Smith until the draft is done. And then, assuming a tackle is drafted early, they will still have no interest in Smith.

  12. Old School Nole Says:

    At times, he didn’t seem all that motivated. Is that going to get better or worse after getting cut and brought back at substantially less money?

  13. Allbuccedup Says:

    They let Mccoy walk he was on the downside of his career they cut Smith for money and on the downside of his career. Both best days are behind them

  14. DoooshLaRue Says:


  15. Rand Says:

    I wonder if they’ll ask him to move to RT and be the backup LT

  16. Pewter Power Says:

    🤮🤮🤮🤮 uh ok so he’s sucks too much for his price tag but we’d keep him to play like trask on the cheap lol yea uh we have a new OC I’m sure he’s not banging the table for him

  17. stpetebucfan Says:

    I think a lot of this speculation boils down to how much Buc fans trust the decision makers.

    Who starts at QB? Who starts at LT. These are questions with answers but do Buc fans trust the coaches to find the correct answers.

    Donovan Smith could be a great signing or a bust. I’ve seen Smith play well and play poorly. When he is HEALTHY I do not consider him a strength nor a liability.

    My questions all revolve around last season. He was never right physically. Is that a legitimate excuse? Or is he over the hill?

  18. Just Saying Says:

    Pay cut should motivate him to give more effort, not! He seemed distracted and disinterested much of the time, I can’t see that improving with a bruised ego.

  19. Joe Says:

    Or Smith could just be doing the veteran I dont wanna do OTAs or camp thing and waiting?

    Good point.

  20. Goatfarmer Says:

    If the Dongster is back as a Buc with a pay cut, let’s hope it would be for depth, and that Wirfs is the LT solution while Goedonkey does RT duty, Jensen returns to full health, and Stinnie and Leverett get some help from the OC on run blocking schemes, and the OL coich wakes up from his coma and teaches some technique.

    That’s a lot of hope. Too much.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I suggested this when they cut him.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    stpetebucfan Says
    “I think a lot of this speculation boils down to how much Buc fans trust the decision makers.”

    Doesn’t the head coach make the final decision on who starts?

    I’m sure he gets the opinions of his other coaches, but certainly the GM does not tell him who to play. Bowles will pick who he wants…and that is what will doom him…and the Bucs this year.

    The owners could step in and order a change, I suppose…but that doesn’t happen often…especially in Tampa. The Glazers always seem to give enough rope to hang one’s self.

  23. Marine Buc Says:

    The Bucs also lost OT Josh Wells who was a solid backup and could play both LT and RT…

    Perhaps the Bucs still draft an OT at #19 who will start and Smith could return to replace Josh Wells as the backup swing tackle.

    I don’t want D. Smith back as the starter but he would be a decent backup as long as he took way less money.

  24. JN Says:

    It’s not a bad thing Joe that the Bucs don’t resign everyone, especially D Smith. He was terrible last year. A major issue with this team is age and speed. Bucs need to get younger and faster. PERIOD. Do you really want to re sign D Smith on a team friendly deal? No thank you. Find his replacement is priority No. 1a… 1b is finding a pass rush, specifically edge a guy(s) not named JTS. He stinks too.

  25. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Smith admitted on a live press conference last season that he was checked out mentally, add to that he is getting old and injured. Thanks for your service and AMF .

  26. Mike Johnson Says:

    I think somebody else will eventually sign Smith. He knows the Bucs will try to bring him back on the real cheap. If that be the case, then he should just sit out OYA’s and training camp. Hell, I would.

  27. sasquatch Says:

    I’m pretty sure that they are planning on a low budget (rookie) option at tackle. If Donnie wants to play at or near vet minimum and be a backup tackle… I just don’t see it happening. We’re drafting a tackle in round 1 or 2.

  28. SlyPirate Says:


    Smith talked all season about dealing with a lot of personal issues outside of football. His personal issues kept him from focusing on football.

    TB12 discussed it. Bowles discussed it. Brooks even discussed it!!!

    Why is Joe out of the loop?

    Licht is probably giving Smith room to figure his life problems out. If he can, they’ll re-sign him. If he can’t, they’ll move on.

  29. stpetebucfan Says:


    That’s a good point about who is calling the shots. Who will have the most input on a Donavan Smith decision. Licht? I trust him when it comes to evaluating OL play. Bowles? Oh noes but I don’t think he’s that involved. Canalas?

  30. Crickett Baker Says:

    He got so many horrible penalties last year that had I been HC I would have benched him for a game or two. I was glad when they didn’t re-sign him. Personal problems are personnel problems.

  31. Statguy Says:

    As a guard? You know, the position every scouting report had him projected as coming out the draft, because he wasn’t athletic enough to deal with elite pass rushers

  32. Bucsfanman Says:

    Everyone is looking at this the wrong way. Hear me out:

    If the Bucs were to re-sign Smith, they would retain a record-breaking offensive lineman!!!
    …in penalties!!!

  33. Jon Grudin Says:

    Could Smith play DT or OG?

    It appears he no longer has the speed for the outside part of the line but he is big body and could probably be successful somewhere on the interior. All guard would be the natural position to shift to that’s not where the Bucs really need help.
    DT is a big need though. Not too many guys have made the transition and past 30 years but back in the day a lot of players play both sides of the line. Could Smith be such a throwback?

  34. GMC hater Says:

    He peaked in the super bowl year. His services are appreciated but he was awful last year. It’s time to move on.

  35. Rob Hamada Says:

    Resigning Smith is all about two things. First, the team wants to get younger and more athletic. That’s why I would draft Harrison is he’s available at 19. If not, trade down and add another 3rd and 4th. Draft two LT and move one inside to LG. If they only draft one LT, then offer Smith an opportunity to compete at LG with Hainsey. He could be the backup LT as well. As far as money, it would be a one year deal at 2-3million with incentives to reach 5-6 million.