The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed left tackle, Donovan Smith. This according to multiple reports, including a tweet from Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.
The #Buccaneers have reached agreement on a three-year, $41.25 million deal with LT Donovan, Smith, source says. He gets $27 million fully guaranteed. Team and Smith avoid the franchise tag. He sticks in Tampa.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 5, 2019
As you can see, the deal is for three years and guarantees Smith $27M. This allows the team to avoid placing the franchise tag on Smith, something the team has a history of trying to avoid.
Earlier this off-season, the Bucs’ blind-side protector made an appearance on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, and there was no doubt in his conversation on the show he knew he would be returning to Tampa for at least 2019 if not longer.
Reports surfaced during combine week and again yesterday that Tampa Bay’s general manager, Jason Licht, would use the tag to secure more time for negotiations if needed.
“Donovan has been a valuable player and a model of durability since we drafted him four years ago,” said Licht. “We always aim to develop our players and reward them for their productivity and reliability, so keeping Donovan as a Buccaneer was a major priority for us this offseason. Donovan’s presence ensures continuity at one of our most crucial positions on the offensive line and I know our coaching staff is eager to begin working with him.”
However, with today’s development, there will be no need for this step and the franchise can move forward knowing who they will have playing a pivotal role in keeping Jameis Winston’s back clear from danger.
Plenty of reaction and domino projections will be following this news, so stay with Bucs Nation for all of it as the 2019 NFL league year crawls closer and closer.