Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David is expected to test the free agent market, NFL Network National Insider Ian Rapoport wrote in a Thursday tweet.
“A return to Tampa Bay has not been ruled out, but given their cap situation, it will be challenging,” wrote Rapoport.
A longtime member of the Buccaneers organization, David has played in 11 seasons with Tampa Bay since he was first selected in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft. He played and started in 166 games for the Bucs, earning just under 1,350 tackles, 143 tackles for loss, 59 pass deflections, 27 forced fumbles, one invitation to the Pro Bowl games and one All-Pro selection in his time with the black and red.
David was there during the team’s Super Bowl win in 2021, performing exceptionally well as he deflected a pair of passes and forced incompletions in the championship game.
Though the repeat never came, Lavonte David had a bold take after the Bucs took the 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, then-Bleacher Report breaking news writer Jenna Ciccotelli wrote in 2021.
“If we get everybody back, I guarantee we’ll win it again,” David said on the I Am Athlete podcast.
The 33-year-old linebacker was on the final deal of the two-year, $25 million contract he signed with the Bucs in 2021, five days before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent. $17.5 million was guaranteed to Lavonte David at signing, including his roster bonus, 2021 salary, 2021 per game bonuses and $5 million of his 2022 salary.
The Buccaneers released longtime offensive lineman Donovan Smith after he spent eight seasons with the team on Tuesday. Releasing Smith saved the Bucs about $10 million in salary cap room.
Wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans remain the two active players with the highest cap hits, according to Spotrac. Linebacker Shaquil Barrett and cornerback Carlton Davis took the two highest spots on defense.