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Bucs linebacker Lavonte David has spent the first nine years of his career in Tampa Bay, and now he’ll spend two more there. According to several reports, the Bucs have re-signed David to a two-year, $25 million deal, with $20 million guaranteed at signing.

That’s not the best part either, Bucs fans. According to Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud, David’s cap hit will be next to nothing thanks to some creative cap maneuvering by GM Jason Licht and Director of Football Administration Mike Greenberg.

That should allow the Bucs to have plenty of room to bring back Shaq Barrett, especially when they are done restructuring Tom Brady’s contract, likely with an extension. There are other moves they can make to clear cap space too, such as a short extension for Ryan Jensen or Jason Pierre-Paul, restructures for Mike Evans and Ali Marpet or cutting Cam Brate ($6.5M), and the team may explore those avenues soon. But for now, they retain their defensive leader and captain for an average of $12.5M per year.

That’s probably less than David was going to get on the open market, but after toiling for eight years on bad teams in Tampa Bay, he wasn’t about to leave right when the fun started. The Bucs star linebacker likely took a slight hometown discount to return to the only NFL home he has ever known as the second big free agency domino to fall for the team on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day the Bucs applied the franchise tag to Chris Godwin, bringing back the wide receiver for at least one more season. The Bucs will now turn all their attention to re-signing outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, who may be looking for $19-20 million per year on the open market. Other key free agents the Bucs have yet to re-sign include TE Rob Gronkowski, DT Ndamukong Suh, K Ryan Succop, WR Antonio Brown and RB Leonard Fournette.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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SappAttack
6 months ago

BOOM!! Great Day. That man needs to retire as a Buccaneer. Ring of Honor material 100!

3rd String Kicker
Reply to  SappAttack
6 months ago

Agreed, Lavonte belongs in the Ring of Honor one day. He deserved many Pro-Bowl nominations as well, has been snubbed his entire career.

DerLutz
6 months ago

Still do not like the void years. At least the bucs also use it for their advantage

FLBoy84
Reply to  DerLutz
6 months ago

Cap is going to rise aggressively over the next few years due to the new TV deals getting finalized, much easier to absorb the $$ impact at that point.

NHNole
Reply to  FLBoy84
6 months ago

Agreed. We have been very careful with cap for years. It put us in the position to weather a smaller cap year with big demands!

aredsoxfan1
Reply to  NHNole
6 months ago

I think it is well worth the risk to kick the can down the road when you have an aging QB. All the smart cap work done in previous years allows the team to go for it for a few years until Brady retires. If you set it up correctly, you pay all your bills in one bad cap year when Brady retires and you start building it back up the following year. Shaq is going to be the tough one, I don’t see him getting less than 5/105 with 65 guaranteed and that’s a tough pill to swallow. As… Read more »

DerLutz
Reply to  aredsoxfan1
6 months ago

My problem with the void years is not because of the risk. Void years undermine the idea of the salary cap. “Don’t spend more than you have available.” This is simply exploiting a weak point. Hope the NFL closes this after this offseason.

FLBoy84
6 months ago

Love it!! Curious how much Jacqueline Davidson had a hand in this deal, never been the Bucs MO to structure deals this way prior to her arrival. Likely a future GM candidate along with Greenberg.

SenileSenior
Reply to  FLBoy84
6 months ago

I had a similar thoughts and questions. I do believe that the Buccaneers have a “top five” financial negotiating team under the leadership of Jason Licht.
_______
I am also overjoyed to see that David will likely retire as a Buc. I’m tickled pink. 😋
______________
Go Bucs!!! SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!

Dave
Reply to  FLBoy84
6 months ago

Do libs ever get sick of pandering? Because of a single free agent deal she may or may not have had a part in, she looks like a “likely future GM candidate”?
Is this a joke? It even includes in the article that this form of structuring is “all the rage these days” because of the reduced cap. GM jobs for everyone!!!!!
Anyway, I’m sure you’ve got some more minority groups to yammer on about…..proceed!

NHNole
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Dude, quit being rude.

drdneast
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Wow Dave, still sore about the election. Get over it, The guy is a loser and probably the biggest loser to come down the pike in years. What did you expect after so many major bungles in the office. LMAO.

Dave
Reply to  drdneast
6 months ago

It’s always funny seeing someone making smart ass comments to the wrong Dave. But please, go on…

NaplesFan2.0
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Lmao!!

FLBoy84
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Lmao, trigger much Dave? Thanks for letting everyone know where you stand on societal issues, too bad no one gives a $%#.

QueDogg86
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Dave, you sound like the racist. Only a racist would use a sports forums to comment on minorities and liberal. Next time post on Fox News!

toofamiliar17
Reply to  FLBoy84
6 months ago

It’s cracked me up seeing so many people talk about how we’ve been unlikely to utilize signing bonuses and other cap manipulation tools based on the fact that we never have before. It never made sense to do it on a large scale in the past. Now, it does. Our front office would be flat out stupid to not to change our approach as the situation changes. It was always not only likely, but necessary, that we were going to dole out contracts like this one if we were serious about retaining most of our free agents this offseason.

Jay
Jay
6 months ago

Everything is working out. I believe they are going to work it out and all the players are coming back plus some. Great front office.

Alldaway 2.0
6 months ago

Good news so far. So that leaves Gronk, Shaq, AB and Suh as the big ones left right?

NHNole
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
6 months ago

Don’t forget Succup

Dman
Reply to  NHNole
6 months ago

Agree he’s a big one as well. Bradley Pinion going to take a hit.

e
e
6 months ago

Hell yes! Godwin & David in the same day… :)

toofamiliar17
Reply to  e
6 months ago

A great day for sure. I badly wanted Lavonte back, but I was actually caught off guard by how happy it made me to hear he signed. Really hit me in the feels. He’s going down as an all-time great Buccaneer. Fingers crossed he can play out his career here. Whether he does or doesn’t though, keeping him here these next two seasons at the very least was absolutely crucial. Huge signing.

surferdudes
6 months ago

Nice, he’ll retire a Buc in two years. That’s the window for the Bucs right now, two years with Brady at the helm. Smart move by David.

toofamiliar17
Reply to  surferdudes
6 months ago

Retire in two years? He was one of the best LBs in the league last season, lol. He’s a young 31, not 41. I’d say it’s not only possible, but likely that his career goes beyond two more seasons. Not saying he’ll be elite for all of that, but it would be less surprising to me for him to continue to play the way he’s always played for two more seasons than it would be for him to retire after the 2022 season.

bucballer
6 months ago

Yes! Needed to happen. A deserved salary, yet less than some of the earlier rumors we were hearing. A good day in Tampa Bay!

gcolerick
6 months ago

Lyrics…….This is how you do it!
In your dreams Cleveland.

Last edited 6 months ago by gcolerick
SaskBucs
6 months ago

Awesome news and great start to the FA period so far!

Mike Pengelly
6 months ago

What a great day….TB 12 will be happy to have his great target back and Devin White will be happy to have his bud at his side making life miserable for the opposing QB’s again this year!!! YEAH !!! Still hoping for another miracle …ie Suh & Shaq. Keep working your magic Mr. Licht.

cobraboy
6 months ago

Aren’t the “void years” just dead cap?

Spitfire
Reply to  cobraboy
6 months ago

Yeah but it’s probably like $3mil a year. Could be a lot worse. Cap will be higher and we have practically nobody signed through then. It’s what a lot of teams will have to do this year but the difference is we aren’t piling it on top of salaries for guys who aren’t even here anymore.

aredsoxfan1
Reply to  cobraboy
6 months ago

Yes, kicking the can down the road. The 2024 cap will probably look like the 2021 Saints cap but at least we already have a SB to show for it. Well worth it IMHO.

SenileSenior
Reply to  aredsoxfan1
6 months ago

Maybe it will actually be 2 Super Bowl wins!
….
That said, I really hope we can be at least potential contenders for the next 5, 6 or even 7 years. Let’s see how the Bucs manage things for more than one year at time as well.

Now, back to 2021.

NaplesFan2.0
6 months ago

There was never a doubt in my mind. Welcome back LVD! Great job by Licht and Greenberg getting his hit down to 3.5 million too.

MWD
MWD
6 months ago

Not to quote Hannibal from the A-team- but “I love it when a plan comes together”, with Godwin franchise tagged, David resigning and what I’ve heard about negotiations with Shaq for a long term deal- the stars are starting to align boys.

Last edited 6 months ago by MWD
bucballer
Reply to  MWD
6 months ago

“ I pity the fool” who doesn’t believe that the Bucs can repeat as Champs!

drdneast
6 months ago

HA. I called that one almost exactly right. I said 12 milllion with a lot guaranteed money in it and the Bucs came up with 12.5 which gives David a good raise from last year.

MarcDaMan47
6 months ago

Great day locking down 2 great Bucs! Glad that joker from NFL network got to eat his crow about David leaving for Cleveland, smh.

Looking forward to a Shaq and Gronk deals coming soon!

Dman
6 months ago

LVD is among my favorite all time Bucs. Well deserved and glad for him and for us.

NHNole
6 months ago

How much cap do we really have left? Different sites tell different stories, but my gut is we can sign Shaq, Gronk, and Succup. Hope to get AB, and doubt Fournette is in our plans. This would be an amazing job by our GM.

toofamiliar17
Reply to  NHNole
6 months ago

Honestly, what we have right this moment really doesn’t matter. Brady’s extension, which I’d wager my life is coming down the pike by the beginning of next week, is going to drastically lower his cap hit this season. And we have Evans and Marpet whose deals from which we can convert portions of their 2021 salaries to further grow our cap space. If Godwin reaches a long term deal, same thing – a big drop in his 2021 number. Then there are Pinion, Gholston, and Brate, I’m guessing at least two of which are either released or take big pay… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  toofamiliar17
6 months ago

100% true. The cap is easily beatable. It’s just a matter of having a good numbers guy that knows how to “beat the system”. Which, luckily for us, we do. Is business as usual. We will get who we need/want resigned, and still be under the cap

Spitfire
6 months ago

Woooooow! That’s great! That’s exactly what he needed to sign for. Yes he may have gotten a million or two somewhere else but no income tax and not having to learn a new system in another city probably losing more games would just not seem worth it. So Amazing we kept in my opinion the 2 most important big deal guys. Hurry up and sign Gronk and Suh and Succop up and see what’s left and see if Barrett is worth keeping at what he’s willing to sign for. Otherwise get ready for a ton of Edge and DEs on… Read more »

toofamiliar17
Reply to  Spitfire
6 months ago

I agree that it wouldn’t be that tough to replicate Shaq’s 8 sacks. However, finding someone who can give us that with easy upside for 12+ to go with leading the league in QB pressures, forcing fumbles at a high rate, and playing the run at a high level won’t be possible. Shaq’s the best edge rusher on the market if he hits it, and it’s not close.

jongruden
6 months ago

So happy to keep him as a Buc now I continue wearing his jersey ha

plopes808
6 months ago

Great news! Too bad there isn’t a contract that won’t expire until he is inducted into the ROH and retires.

Dave
6 months ago

Love it! Great player, leader, and locker room guy back. And at the exact numbers I wanted him at. 2/25. Now as long as we don’t overpay for Shaq and Succop as well, we’re in great shape.

Last edited 6 months ago by Dave
toofamiliar17
6 months ago

I never understood the PR projections of him getting $15M or 16M per year. He MIGHT have done a bit better than this on the open market, maybe more with years than with average, but I don’t think he was going to get much above $12.5M per year. Just doesn’t make sense this offseason for him to get more than what he got here from us. Kinda wish he’d have been willing to sign a bit cheaper and actually give us a bit of a discount, but whatever, this isn’t an overpay at all, and having him at this cost… Read more »

BUC FOR LIFE
Reply to  toofamiliar17
6 months ago

What a whirlwind from a year ago. This front office has REALLY sharpened their pencils. Thrilled to be a LONG TIME fan and been through the good and the bad. That said, it took a LONG TIME to get back here, and my hats off to management for making all of this happen. Yes, it was awful, almost unbearable after 2002 watching some seasons. We are headed in a superior direction and the window is WIDE OPEN for us. So much going for us it’s hard to remember crossing my fingers with Jameis last season…. GO BUCS

Bradenton BucFan
6 months ago

seize the opportunity LD the most talented sports area. NFL,MLB,NHL,MLS,NBA. Players,Coaches,management,& ownership are elite. It is a very good time for sports fans in FLA.

Gatordoc1
6 months ago

I love it when a plan comes together.
John “Hannibal” Smith

Billy
6 months ago

Hey John, Ask that KC analyst if he is afraid yet the Chiefs will lose?

Irked me that when you asked him if he was nervous when KC was behind he said not really. In 2019. He might not have been nervous then, but I bet he was in the SB.

LVD for 2 more years is a perfect window with TB. Unless of course he goes for 10.

Billy
6 months ago

@REDSOX Fan The only thing that might lure Shaq is a chance to make it 3 or 4 SB Titles and a Hall Call if all goes well. I would give up 10 Million over 4 or 5 years to stay in a system that made it happen for you. What if he takes 100 Million in say Washington and their defensive scheme is different and 4 years from now it looks like a bad deal. He has his money, maybe, but certainly no championships and the Hall, PLEASE. Of course in 5 years, 20 Million for a DE/OLB might… Read more »

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