Buccaneers, Lavonte David Agree to 5-Year Extension
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired head coach Lovie Smith to help turn their defense into a fearsome unit again. While it didn’t quite happen in 2014, the team seems to be taking the necessary steps to making sure it happens in 2015 and beyond.
Per reports, the team agreed to terms with star linebacker Lavonte David on a five-year, $50.25 million contract extension. The deal keeps one of the game’s best young linebackers under Tampa Bay’s control through his age-30 season, while David is expected to be getting a cool $25.56 million in guaranteed cash.
Source: Lavonte David and the #Bucs have agreed to terms on a five-year extension.
— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) August 9, 2015
While Tampa Bay hasn’t yet turned back into an elite defense, it’s not because a lack of effort or production out of David. The 25-year old has been a total machine in each of his first three seasons in the league, piling up 139+ tackles each year, while also making an impact as a pass rusher (nine total sacks) and pass defender (seven total interceptions).
With David now locked up for the long-term, the Bucs know they have one aspect of their defense completely accounted for and can now focus on improving their weak points.
It’s an exciting time for the Buccaneers, who are in just the second season of a projected turn around with Smith at the helm and have a chance to rise up in a weak NFC South. With the Carolina Panthers stealing the division after going just 8-8 a year ago, even solid progress could have a young Tampa Bay team looking at a playoff spot.
The team added franchise passer Jameis Winston to help a lethargic offense take the next step, and now it appears extending David could be the next key step in making sure both sides of the ball are spoken for. Tampa Bay should now look to round out an inconsistent defensive line, as well as figure out what they want to do at safety.
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