It’s been quite a few weeks since we’ve had any real comments from Jason Licht and Bruce Arians, but with the combine underway in Indianapolis, both spoke to the media on Wednesday morning.
Separate from the combine interview, Jason Licht also did an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio where he discussed many topics. One of the topics that was brought up was the status of their left tackle, Donovan Smith, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Licht was asked about Donovan and had the following to say:
“He’s another guy, we will talk with him while we are here, whether it’s to do an extension or we can franchise him as well, but I don’t envision Donovan Smith being anywhere else but the Bucs, at least for next year,” Licht said.
Licht also followed that up by stating if a long-term deal cannot be reached, the team will “more then likely, yes” use the franchise tag on Smith.
This was expected, as the Buccaneers have always been high on Donovan Smith from the day he was drafted. For the Buccaneers sake, I think it would be in their best interest to reach a long-term deal with Donovan because if he plays lights out in 2019, his $12-$14 million price range likely jumps to about $16 million.
We will see what happens, but it’s crystal clear Donovan will be back with Tampa Bay in 2019 and likely beyond.