Long-time Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker Lavonte David is expected to test the free agent market according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport.
Long-time great #Bucs LB Lavonte David, coming off one of his most productive seasons, is expected to test the free agent market, source said. A return to Tampa Bay has not been ruled out, but given their cap situation, it will be challenging.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2023
David has been a stalwart for the Buccaneers since he was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Over the past nine seasons, he has established himself as one of the best linebackers in the league. He’s earned one Pro Bowl selection and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2013.
Despite his impressive resume, David’s future in Tampa Bay is uncertain. David’s decision to test free agency is sure to attract attention from around the league. Several teams are in need of a reliable linebacker. David’s experience and production make him an attractive option for any team in the market. The Buccaneers will likely face competition from other teams for his services.
At the same time, the Buccaneers are reportedly eager to keep David in Tampa Bay. Former Head coach Bruce Arians has spoken highly of the linebacker in the past. He called him the “heart and soul” of the defense. The team may try to work out a contract extension to keep David in a Buccaneers uniform.
As the start of the new league year approaches, the Buccaneers will need to make a decision on David’s future. If they are unable to reach an agreement with him, they will have to look for a replacement either through free agency or the draft. The loss of a player of David’s caliber would undoubtedly be a blow to the team’s defense, but the Buccaneers have shown a willingness to make bold moves in pursuit of success.
In a weak NFC South, however, the Bucs might be favorites to win the division according to Florida sportsbooks. Maybe the recent addition of Derek Carr to the New Orleans Saints make them the favorite but time will tell. Losing David on that defense will be hard to replace.