One big question on the eve of free agency has now been answered if a report on Monday is accurate.
It was announced on Monday that the Bucs are going to place the franchise tag on Donovan Smith, per a report from Rick Stroud. The team had until the March 5 deadline to use the franchise tag on Smith. PewterReport.com had previously reported in February that Smith would likely get the franchise tag in an SR’s Fab 5 column.
The franchise tag would keep Smith in Tampa for at least 2019 while paying him the average of the top five salaries at his position, somewhere around $14.5 million. Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht and director of football administration Mike Greenberg are continuing talks with Smith’s representatives on a long-term deal.
Smith’s play hasn’t necessarily been the model of consistency over his four years with the Bucs, but he’s played in every single game since being drafted in 2015 and finding a left tackle isn’t an easy task for NFL teams.
In 2018, Smith allowed 5.5 sacks, a career-high, but just a half sack over his five allowed in 2015 and 2017, and limited his penalties to a career-low at just six penalties for 50 yards.
#Bucs will place the franchise tag on LT Donovan Smith by the March 5 deadline but talks are going well on an extension and they could still do a deal at a later date.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 4, 2019