Report: Lavonte David Expected to Test Free Agency

Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After 11 seasons in the same place, Lavonte David might be wearing a different jersey when the 2023 NFL season starts. 

The long-time Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker is expected to test free agency this offseason, NFL Media reported Thursday. David could return to the Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay needs to clear more than $49 million in cap space to get under the salary cap, according to Over The Cap.

The Buccaneers likely are heading for at least a short-term rebuild following Tom Brady’s retirement this offseason. The only quarterbacks listed on the Buccaneers’ roster are Kyle Trask and Ryan Griffin.

Additionally, Tampa Bay has already announced it would cut ties with long-time left tackle Donovan Smith and running back Leonard Fournette. Releasing Fournette will save the Buccaneers $3.47 million, and releasing Smith will save them nearly $10 million.

Davis, 33, still was effective in the middle of the Buccaneers’ defense last season. He recorded 124 total tackles, the most he’s finished a season with since 2016. He also contributed three sacks, five passes defended and one forced fumble.

David ranks as The 33rd Team‘s No. 13 overall free agent and No. 1 available linebacker in the 2023 free agency class. However, younger linebackers like David Long and Tremaine Edmunds are expected to draw a lot of interest on the open market, making the linebacker market reasonably competitive.

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