Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David spoke with the media on Friday after he signed a two-year, $25 million deal to stay in Tampa. There was an original fear that David could take a lucrative deal somewhere else, but at the end of the day he always wanted to stay a Buc.
“It was a lot of things that went into this,” David said. “A lot of strategizing, a lot of looking at the big picture, talking with my family, talking with friends. We’ve been going back and forth with negotiations for a while. Honestly, all in all, I didn’t want to go nowhere. I have a legacy here that I’m trying to chase and I’m trying to stamp. Just trying to win more Super Bowls.
“Dealing with the stuff I dealt with the previous eight years, then finally you win one and finally up and leave, I’m like ‘No, I want to keep on winning.’ This team, this organization, this city deserves a lot more and I want to be a part of it. Me and my camp felt everything from both sides was a fair deal and we went on ahead and took it.”
David stands next to Derrick Brooks as the two best linebackers to ever wear the red and pewter. This was solidified after David and the Bucs won Super Bowl LV, so now that he’s signed a new deal here, the next goal is to continue to win more Super Bowls and establish a legacy. This includes having aspirations of one day putting on a gold jacket in Canton, much like Brooks.
Bucs Hall of Fame LB Derrick Brooks – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“I want my legacy to be, on the football field, I want to be remembered as one of the most electrifying, playmaking linebackers that ever played the game,” David said. “A guy who put on for his organization and [has] similarities to DB, Derrick Brooks. He’s a linebacker who did his thing when he was in this organization, [I’m] just trying to follow in those footsteps and make my own mark and make my own path and show that I can be a dominating playmaking linebacker too as well while I was here.
“Just hopefully get into the Ring Of Honor and then going into Canton one day. He set the stones for me so now I’m just trying to follow them and try to do kind of like the exact same thing that he did. Everything is lined up for me, now I just got to go out there and prove myself.”
As much as David is beloved on the field, what makes him a Bucs legend as well is his efforts off the field in the community. When talking about his legacy, he also mentioned what he wants to be known for just as a human being and how he can help the next generation.
“As far as off the field, I just want everybody to know that I’m a guy who is loving, who is caring, who is always a team first guy,” David said. “Who is kind and then a guy who was easy to get along with and a guy who just did the best he can for his community that he was in, whether it was in Tampa or whether it was back home. The same thing that Derrick Brooks did for me, I’m just trying to leave for the next group of people who want to come to my position and play football, just trying to leave some type of positive impact for whoever I’ve touched, whoever I’ve reached to make them understand that any goal that they set their mind to can be reached.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to do since I stepped foot in the league as far as trying to inspire the next upcoming class of human beings to be the best they can be.”