With Lavonte David still under a soon-to-expire rookie deal, some have become anxious during the ongoing contract negotiations. However, Lovie Smith assured fans that the star linebacker won’t be leaving Tampa any time soon.
“I would tell the fans it’s great that they’re paying attention, and they should,” Smith said during his press conference Friday. “But Lavonte will be taken care of.”
Smith emphasized past comments where he’s called David one of the best outside linebackers he’s ever coached. And for someone who’s coached the likes of Derrick Brooks and Lance Briggs, that’s exceptionally high praise.
“I think I’m on record… you can go back to any shot I’ve given on Lavonte David on how I feel about him,” Smith said. “And I feel the same way. That person and those fans who are thinking that way, no one loves him as much as I do.”
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where, at the very latest, an extension isn’t signed during the season. However, it’s likely the two sides could reach an agreement sooner. In Friday’s Fab 5, Scott Reynolds wrote that sources have told PewterReport.com that “talks are progressing and that a deal for David during training camp is quite possible,” and to expect the former Husker to become the league’s highest paid 4-3 outside linebacker.
So, while it might take the front office a little longer to hash out details, they’re at least on the same page with one thing: the Buccaneers need Lavonte David for the long-term.
“When I say ‘I’, (I mean) we as an organization,” Smith said. “In time, we’ll get this taken care of and Lavonte hasn’t missed a beat. I have seen him and he’s just excited. Again, in time we’ll get that taken care of.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org