The Buccaneers formally introduced their new $41.25 million dollar man at a press conference on Wednesday.

Left tackle Donovan Smith was in the studio for the first time since signing a new three-year contract that will keep him as a Buccaneer until at least 2021 and spoke with the media along with general manager Jason Licht, who drafted Smith in the second round in 2015.

Licht talked about the process of drafting, developing and re-signing Smith.

“It’s always exciting for an organization when you’re able to get an extension with a guy that you drafted, the organization developed,” Licht said. “The coaching staff did a good job with these guys, especially Donovan here. Donovan, in addition to being a massive person, has a great combination of athleticism, strength, but more importantly his intelligence and his desire to be on the field every sunday. I think that gets talked about a lot, but at the same time doesn’t get talked about enough. It’s such a quality that’s hard to find, especially with his leadership and the respect he has from his teammates for loving the game and wanting to be better and wanting to get better every day.

“In addition to extending him for the three-year contract, he also has a tremendous upside still, he’s young and has tremendous upside so I’m looking forward to him reaching that potential in these next few years.”

Smith was asked about what he can do to improve over the next three seasons. He didn’t just talk about giving up less sacks, or committing fewer penalties, but instead something that has been lacking since Logan Mankins retired following the 2015 season.

“Being a bigger voice,” Smith said. “People lead in different ways, I’m kind of a pull you to the side kind of guy, but I can be more outspoken with my leadership. Like I said, just continue to build who I am on the field, consistency, going out there to play week in and week out and just help the team win, because that’s the plan here. We want to turn this thing around and get it going. We can’t have the Lightning only balling out here in Tampa so we’re going to turn it around and have some fun doing it.”

Bucs LT Donovan Smith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs LT Donovan Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Since entering the NFL in 2015, Smith has had just one head coach during that time. PewterReport.com asked him thoughts on having a new voice in the room and on the field.

“It’s just like anything else, I can’t control it(who the coach is),” Smith said. “You kind of go with it. If you think about it, back through Penn State, I had three different coaches. Getting a new coach in there, a new voice or anything like that, I’m not opposed to it or anything like that. You learn them and you learn what works and you build on that. You build relationships and you get out there and you can trust each other and that’s how you sit there and you’ll be able to grow as a player and go from there. So I’m not opposed to any of it.”

Not long after it was announced that Smith had agreed to a new deal, Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan took to Twitter and took an apparent jab at Smith.

Smith smiled when he was asked about it on Wednesday, and said it’s part of the business.

“As you know it’s divisional opponents,” Smith said. “The thing about the league, everybody knows everybody, so like anybody else you’re guys out there having fun so people like to have fun and trash talk and everything so it is what it is. And obviously it’s coming from a divisional opponent so we’ll see them twice a year.”

Bucs LT Donovan Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Smith and the Buccaneers both appear to be happy with the new contract that keeps him in red and pewter for the next three seasons.

“I just want to say thank you to Jason Licht and the Glazer family for having that faith in me,” Smith said. “I love it here in Tampa, the locker room, the guys, the community, the people around. I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else and it’s just a blessing to be able get this done and know that I have that security of being here for another three years. I just look forward to great things to come with the team and new coaching staff. I have to shout out the trainers, like you said, fighting week in and week out to make sure I’m on the field, they do a great job down there. I’m excited.”

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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Captain Sly
Captain Sly
3 years ago

Very humble young man. Great signing! The Bucs are laying the ground work for long term success.

Ivan2727
Ivan2727
3 years ago

Jameis Winston will win a superbowl in Tampa Bay and it will be the greatest 30 for 30 story of all time.

Spitfire
Spitfire
3 years ago

Some people for some reason wanted us to let him go but there is no one to fill his spot, and he is not terrible. We need him in this line, at least for now. So although he may not be the best LT in the League, if we solidify the Right side of the line this offseason then we will have a very good Offensive Line, and guaranteeing 2 years is enough time to see if we end up having a better option by then. It’s the only ACTUAL option we had and it’s not a bad one. I… Read more »

EricNV
EricNV
Reply to  Spitfire
3 years ago

I’d prefer to say this was the least bad option, but I gave you a thumbs up anyhow. And you’re correct – it will be interesting to see both Smith and Marpet continue to grow their skill level. If Smith plays to his potential next year, Licht will look like a freaking genius. If not, he may just be gone depending upon our record.

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

Don’t care if he’s more vocal or not. Just cut back on dumb penalties and work on technique with speed guys especially. He has potential and hasn’t reached it for whatever reason. I hope this new guy is lot better than Warhop too. His track record stinks.

thewbacca
thewbacca
3 years ago

The hardest person to lead is yourself. I hope he focuses there, overcomes his streakiness, and is a vocal leader. He has the physical traits and the toughness.

FLBoy84
FLBoy84
Reply to  thewbacca
3 years ago

Smith shows no leadership qualities at all imo other than the ability to show up and play every Sunday. Happy if he just learns to lead himself and be locked in play to play.

EricNV
EricNV
Reply to  thewbacca
3 years ago

They need somebody to step up and be the guy who rallies that offensive line. If not Smith, it had better be Marpet or even Jensen.

FLBoy84
FLBoy84
3 years ago

Being that Marpet got 6 years, tend to believe if the FO thought he was the long-term answer at LT he would’ve been signed to a longer term deal. Agree though it’s a good deal for both he and the team. Definitely need to draft another OT within the first 3-4 rounds to groom to possibly take over when the deal is done, or else the FO will be in the same situation as they found themselves in now.

EricNV
EricNV
Reply to  FLBoy84
3 years ago

I would agree about drafting RT this year, but Smith’s signing means they can hold off on drafting a potential replacement at LT until next year or later depending upon how 2019 goes. I think RG – a true guard – is more of a priority at the moment since we’ve got a few guys on the roster who can move to RT if the FO decides to cut Dotson.

Charlie
Charlie
3 years ago

Pfft, Jason Licht is an idiot for saying the moronic things that he just said lol. Smith is incapable of figuring it out, that’s why he can lose every week and still show his dumb smiling face on that stupid ali and donovan show…Jameis is probably gonna get injured again this year on one of Smith’s wheel around specials, this franchise is a joke.

Charlie
Charlie
3 years ago

What kind of self entitled loser, has a custom diamond necklace of thejersey number made and wears it to a press confrence? We’re doomed…

Charlie
Charlie
3 years ago

He’s too stupid to realize the other players are legitimately telling him he sucks and they can’t wait to play him…RIP

BucRy
BucRy
3 years ago

Lol look at this kid charlie trying wayyyyyy tooooo hardddddd

EricNV
EricNV
Reply to  BucRy
3 years ago

He might want to rethink his last comment. It could easily be edited to read, “He’s too stupid to realize the other commentators are legitimately telling him he sucks and they can’t wait to see how he makes a fool of himself next.”

Charlie
Charlie
3 years ago

Lol watch this blow up in your face, losers

Spitfire
Spitfire
Reply to  Charlie
3 years ago

Hey Charles, I would Love to see you walk up to Donovan Smith and tell him how intelligent you think his face looks. Say it like you mean it too, don’t hold back. I’m a Medic so I’ll be on stand-bye and I promise I’ll respond, as soon as I’m done laughing of course.

skipper
skipper
3 years ago

I feel bad for you Charlie, you appear to have some issues to deal with. Notice the down votes?

scubog
scubog
3 years ago

I sure wish some of you folks would actually watch the game live instead of reading the PFF rankings to form your opinions. Just think about this with regards to our entire O-line and not just #76. Firstly, I’m not saying the 25 year old youngster is great, but I am saying he’s better than all but one of the LT’s we’ve had. I’m saying, it’s a team game with team results. It’s just comical when so many fans focus on the “whipping boys” (Winston, D. Smith, GMC, Conte and others) to place blame. One need only look to the… Read more »

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
Reply to  scubog
3 years ago

Well said. He’s a lot better than some in the media and fans give him credit for. I’m glad the coaches are paying attention.

Bradenton BucFan
Bradenton BucFan
Reply to  scubog
3 years ago

who Gruber or Penn?

Bradenton BucFan
Bradenton BucFan
3 years ago

hopefully we can trade down in draft & draft his replacement LT, I think he(smith) is better RT or Guard. Dotson best days are behind him, we need a guard opposite Ali, & our center is average & overpaid, we need to draft o-line we develop into starters, it his hard to develop o-line during season but necessary evil for the long term.

matador
matador
3 years ago

This is laughable. If you want to do this and have your teammates listen, start leading by example. Show the determination and consistency and hunger that has been mostly absent your entire Bucs career, and according to one of the posters here your college career too. Finish your blocks, play to the whistle, dig deep for that little bit of extra effort that in your role can make the difference between a play working and not. I say that because I agree with posters who believe that while important stats don’t tell the whole story, including GMC’s sack #s that… Read more »

surferdudes
3 years ago

I doubt if we draft both RG, and RT, although we need an up grade at both. There is no one more year left in Dotson, and he counts almost 5 million to the cap. His so called replacement is going to be Benenoch, because he was such a failure at guard, we are supposed to believe he’ll be a better R.T.? Hope we have a back up plan there. That leaves Cappa at R.G., or R.T.? Scary thought. One of those spots has to be filled from this draft.

drdneast
drdneast
3 years ago

Bugs were damned if they signed him and damned if they didn’t. If you want a franchise lock down LT you have to draft one high in the first round, which Smith wasn’t, or good luck.
Smith is better than what the average moronic fan thinks but not $14 million good.
Unfortunately, that is the going rate for serviceable LT`s nowadays.
Ain’t capitalism great.

Charlie
Charlie
3 years ago

Sorry some of you people can’t have your safe space breached without getting butthurt. His play is absolutely atrocious for someone who calls themself a professional. And the fact that anyone here is willing to resort to physical violence over professional criticism is a still operating out of their primal under developed reptilian brain. Grow up.