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.
The #Bucs wanted to make sure one of their top players and leaders stayed home. They’ve spent the last few weeks working on it and have just agreed. David gets $20M guaranteed on the 2-year, $25M deal. A win-win. https://t.co/AS5AAdHxx2
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.
Bucs creatively added 3 extra void years which makes his salary cap number around $3.5 mil this year https://t.co/WNxU88ovPB
It’ll be a five-year deal with three voidable years for LB Lavonte David that keeps his cap number at a manageable $3.5 million for the #Buccaneers this year. Voidable years are all the rage this year as teams maneuver around the cap decrease.
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.
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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