The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to terms on a new contract with Lavonte David, Rand Getlin of NFL Network reports. The Bucs have since confirmed the news. The extension will be five years, keeping David in Tampa through the 2020 season. We'll have more details on this as soon as they're available.
According to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports and several other outlets, David will be paid $50.25 million over his five new seasons, with $25.56 million in guaranteed money. It's likely that most of those guarantees are for injury only. The $10 million average per year makes him the highest-paid 4-3 outside linebacker in the league, easily topping DeAndre Levy's $8.4 million per year over four seasons in a contract signed just days ago. David falls just short of Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagners' $10.75 million per year, although David has significantly more guaranteed money than Wagner.
David's new contract comes after a full offseason of negotiations, which were sped up by the recent extensions for Wagner and Levy, giving both sides some benchmarks to work with. David has been the top 4-3 outside linebacker ever since he entered the league in 2012, setting records for defeats and consistently making impact plays. His best season came in 2013, when David racked up five interceptions, nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles and seven sacks in Greg Schiano's blitz-heavy scheme. Thanks to the NFL's focus on pass-rushing linebackers, David has been snubbed for the Pro Bowl every year of his career, though.
Under Lovie Smith, David's impact plays declined slightly, but that was more a function of the scheme than David himself. With a second year in the system, the Bucs expect him to be more impactful this year, with Lovie Smith saying today he'll be a "five-plus interception linebacker every year."
The Bucs will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. ET| tomorrow to celebrate the extension.