Bucs Contract Renewal Projection: LB David
One of the biggest decisions the Bucs will face this offseason is which players the team will keep and which players they will leave. Assuming he decides not to retire, Lavonte David is someone the Bucs will most likely try to bring back with another contract extension.
David, who spent his entire 11-year career with Tampa Bay, currently ranks third in franchise history in solo tackles (949), second in assisted tackles (397), first in tackles for loss (143), sixth in passes defended (59) and first in forced fumbles (27). He has been selected to a Pro Bowl, has an All-Pro nomination and is widely regarded as one of the top five linebackers of the past 10 years.
David has just finished his 32-year season and age could be a concern with a new contract. However, despite a lack of splash plays, his level of play is still very high. He is still one of the best covering linebackers in the league and his ability to play that role so well frees up fellow linebacker Devin White to play more downhill and with a greater degree of reckless abandon.
He posted 124 tackles, 10 for a loss, three sacks, five passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble to recover. He supplemented those counting statistics with a 84.1 overall rating from Pro Football Focus.
All this means David has a good case for improving the average annual value of his expiring $25 million two-year contract. While David’s age may be a reason for a pay cut, Bobby Wagner signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Rams last year despite having an arguably worse (though still very good) season.
With the top of linebacker contracts rising at a rapid rate (White will earn a nine-figure contract next off-season), David should be able to increase his salary if he chooses to keep playing. He could choose to follow in the footsteps of hopefully future hall-of-famer Ronde Barber.
Towards the end of Barber’s career with the Bucs, he played on a series of one-year deals that allowed him to reconsider whether to continue playing each off-season while giving the Bucs a similar option to team up again. it. This deal would absorb some of the dead cap hit that will hit the Bucs’ 2023 season and push more of it into future years.
A hypothetical re-signing between David and the Bucs
A hypothetical one-year pact between the Bucs and David could be in the neighborhood of $13.5 million. It would include a prorated bonus (most likely a roster bonus that would take effect just a few days after contract execution) worth $9 million to be spread over three years at the salary cap. This would be over the course of 2023 and two empty years (2024 and 2025).
A potential deal for David could look something like this:
2023: $4.5 million base salary, $2,285,000 prorated bonus carried forward from 2020 contract, $3 million prorated bonus
The total would be a $9,785,000 cap hit for 2023, which would be just a $2,930,000 increase over the dead cap hit the Bucs would incur on David’s previous contract. Beyond that, David would create a dead cap hit of $10,570,000 in 2024. That dead cap hit would be the combination of the $6 million from the remainder of this contract’s roster bonus along with the remaining $4,570,000 in pro rata bonus from his current expiring deal.
This contract would fairly value David within a linebacker market that is growing rapidly, while keeping him with the Bucs with the potential to complete his career in Tampa Bay.
#Bucs #Contract #Renewal #Projection #David