Sun. Jul 21st, 2024
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Did the Bucs almost lose a legend this offseason?

Long-live the NFL career of Tampa Bay Bucs’ linebacker and future Ring of Honor member Lavonte David. David has been playing for the Bucs since he was drafted in the second round of 2012 NFL Draft and he has been playing high-level football since he was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

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The retirement of Lavonte David in a Bucs’ uniform is something most fans of the team have seemingly taken for granted, as they’ve leaned more heavily into the idea of ensuring Mike Evans retires as a Tampa Bay Buc. Recent quotes from David himself indicate his career finishing out in Tampa Bay might not be the foregone conclusion most believe it to be. David’s outlook on the future of his career as well as his future with the team was reported on by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times

“Or I would’ve moved on, just to be honest with you.” David said, referencing the options of retirement versus playing for a different NFL franchise.

Post his decision to re-sign with the Bucs, David appears to have no regrets, “I’m happy I made the decision I made… I definitely still love the game of football. I still want to play and I still feel like I’m playing at a high level. I still feel like I can compete with the best and obviously the organization felt the same way… Us being competitive also played a main part in it. I’m definitely looking forward to another great season.”

Interesting note near the end of David’s quote, mentioning the team’s success from a year ago weighing on his mind throughout the decision making process. Obviously, last year Tampa Bay shocked the football world by rallying late in the season to surge into the playoffs where they beat the Philadelphia Eagles 32-9 before falling the Detroit Lions in the Divisional Round a week later. Last year’s success was anything but guaranteed for the Bucs and a lot of it has to be attributed to the improved play of Baker Mayfield down the stretch— Who had a career season. Mike Evans has already been on the record about the Bucs’ ability to retain Baker Mayfield as a factor in his return to Tampa— Are Lavonte David’s comments a second veteran doubling down on that narrative?

Whatever the reason, David is back. In 2023 he led the Tampa Bay Bucs in tackles with 134 and recorded 4.5 sacks. Lavonte David is showing no signs of age and will be a Buccaneer for at least one more season, but these comments are enough to make anyone wonder, will this be his last?

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