There’s been a lot of talk over the past few days about Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ superstar and long time face of the defense Lavonte David and what his future holds.
For those that may have missed it, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network said on Wednesday that sometimes there just “isn’t enough money to go around” and that he expected David to leave as a free agent with plenty of teams ready to stand in line - the Cleveland Browns being at the front of it - to vie for David’s services.
Then on Thursday, Garafolo walked that statement back a little bit saying yes, there will be plenty of teams trying to get David to join their team if he reaches free agency but that the Buccaneers are still trying to hammer something out and ensure that the captain returns back to the only franchise he’s known for his nine NFL seasons.
From NFL Now on @nflnetwork: Doubling back on #Buccaneers LB Lavonte David's chances of sticking around in Tampa, which are better than I indicated a day ago. My bad on that. Explanation pic.twitter.com/db6DnFL5SM— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 4, 2021
The only person we hadn’t heard anything from was David himself - but he appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio and talked about his current state and what he’s looking for. David expressed that he lets he agents handle all of this as he’s home in Miami enjoying some much needed time with his family, who he didn’t see much of during the season.
David spoke briefly about the Buccaneers trying to bring everyone back and the players’ desire to return to the franchise that just won the Super Bowl a month ago;
“Nine years. It took me nine years to actually get to the playoffs and actually, you know, win it all, so it’s definitely something I’m thankful for and something I kind of just soak it all in.
There’s a lot of things to take into consideration. There’s guys that was on this team that want to come back, me included. The organization obviously got some big decisions to make, but from my understanding everybody wants to come back. Everybody wants to try to come back, that great nucleus, great core guys that we have.”
"I don't know what to expect. Just go with the flow."— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) March 5, 2021
LB Lavonte David on his approach to free agency and how he hopes they can keep everyone together in Tampa Bay.
AUDIO | @Buccaneers | #Buccaneers pic.twitter.com/0CACVCH28L
At this stage, it would be surprising if Lavonte David spent the first eight years of his career playing for the Buccaneers on some absolutely abysmal teams before finally reaching the postseason and winning a Super Bowl in year nine just to turn around and leave for more money elsewhere. However, at the end of the day, the NFL is a business for the players as much as it is for the teams. David has accomplished the ultimate goal in winning a Lombardi Trophy and can look to cash in if he really wants to - but it would certainly be unexpected for him to leave the franchise at this stage.
This is certainly something to continue keeping an eye on as we are closing in on the start of free agency. The open negotiating window begins on Monday, March 15 while free agency officially begins at the start of the new league year at 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 17.