Lavonte David deal a great move by Bucs
Our own Matt Claassen went in-depth two weeks ago on the need for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lock up star linebacker Lavonte David, and the team appears to have listened, reportedly reaching an agreement with David on a five-year contract extension that will pay him north of $50 million, $25 of which is guaranteed.
Contract particulars aside for a moment, this is a really good move by the Bucs to secure one of the most underrated players in the NFL. A few reasons why:
–His combination of durability and productivity is off the charts, having played 96 percent of snaps to this point in his three-year career, and ranking in the top seven of our grading of 4-3 outside linebackers each season.
–His 228 defensive stops in his career are by far the most of any player at any position over that three-season period.
–His 13.4 run-stop percentage in 2014 was second only to DeAndre Levy — another underrated star who just cashed in — and he was very effective in coverage, as well.
The Bucs now have two elite defenders locked up to long-term deals in David and Gerald McCoy, and with No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston now in the fold to throw to star second-year wide receiver Mike Evans (the only three receivers better than Evans on deep passes last season: Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson and Julio Jones), this is a team that could continue to get buzz as a turnaround team for as early as the 2015 season.