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Bucs Icon Lavonte David Gets New Deal for 13th Season in Tampa

Lavonte David, one of the most accomplished players in franchise history, is returning for another season in Tampa after his age-defying standout campaign in 2023

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Lavonte David, one of the greatest players in Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise history, is staying in the red and pewter.

On Tuesday, David and the Buccaneers reached agreement on a one-year contract that keeps the prolific linebacker in Tampa for at least a 13th season. This is the second offseason in a row that David has agreed to a new deal with the only NFL team he has known after he played the 2021-22 seasons on a two-year pact.

David, a 2012 second-round pick who has been voted a team captain in each of his past 10 seasons, was a key figure in the Buccaneers capturing their third straight NFC South title in 2023. He led the team with 134 tackles, his highest total since his 2015 Pro Bowl campaign, and added 4.5 sacks, his most in a season since 2016. David also paced the Buccaneers and tied for seventh in the NFL with 17 tackles for loss while contributing five quarterback hits, five passes defensed and a forced fumble. David continued his strong play in the postseason, topping the Bucs' list with 18 tackles and adding a sack, a quarterback hit and a forced fumble.

David started all 15 games in which he played in 2023, missing two contests due to a groin injury. He was a key figure on a defense that tied for sixth in the league in points allowed (19.1 per game) and allowed the fifth fewest rushing yards (95.3 per game).

Overall, David has played in 181 regular season games, starting all of them, and has amassed 1,477 tackles, 33.5 sacks, 160 tackles for loss, 28 forced fumbles, 18 fumble recoveries, 12 interceptions and 64 passes defensed. He is the franchise's all-time leader in fumble recoveries and ranks second in tackles, fifth in games played, fourth in games started and eighth in sacks. If he plays at least 10 games in 2024 he will move into third place in Bucs annals in games and starts, trailing only Hall of Famers Rondé Barber and Derrick Brooks.

Even before his age-defying 2023 campaign, David had already placed himself in elite company among all-time NFL defenders. Through his first 11 seasons he had joined London Fletcher, Ray Lewis, Bobby Wagner and Junior Seau as the only players in league annals to record 1,300-plus tackles, 25-plus sacks and 10-plus interceptions through their first 11 seasons.

David currently ranks first among all active NFL players in solo tackles (1,033) and fumble recoveries and is second in total tackles, forced fumbles and passes defensed by a linebacker. He ranks fourth among active players in tackles for loss and interceptions by a linebacker.

The contract agreement with David continues a strong effort by the Buccaneers prior to the start of free agency to keep the core intact of a team that has won three straight division titles. Tampa Bay has also re-signed five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans, reached contract agreement with Pro Bowl quarterback Baker Mayfield and retained All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield Jr. on the franchise tag.


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