Linebacker Lavonte David has been a stalwart for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense for the past decade. However, his time with the franchise could potentially be coming to an end.
NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday that David could be testing the free agent market in the coming weeks, with a return to Tampa still on the table. Entering his 12th season in the league, we’ll see where the underrated veteran linebacker eventually lands.
2022 in review
David had a really productive season in 2022 and was a bright spot on a disappointing Bucs squad that practically won a weak NFC South by default. Starting all 17 games in the regular season, he compiled 124 combined tackles, 10 TFLs, five passes defensed, three sacks, and a forced fumble. If he is leaving the Bucs this offseason, he leaves as the franchise’s all-time leader in tackles for loss (143) and fumble recoveries (18).
Do the Buccaneers want to keep him?
Yes, but that will be tough considering the team’s cap situation according to Rapoport. Tampa Bay entered the offseason $55 million over the cap and the team has already released veterans like running back Leonard Fournette and left tackle Donavan Smith to free up some space.
There has yet to be any indication of where David could potentially land should he not re-sign with the Bucs. Linebacker-needy teams like the New York Giants or Las Vegas Raiders could be potential landing spots for the veteran.