Since joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a second-round draft pick in 2015, Donovan Smith has started 98 of a possible 100 games, including the playoffs. He's now set to go well past triple digits in a Buccaneers uniform after signing a contract extension with the team on Thursday.
Smith, who has been the team's starting left tackle since his arrival in Tampa, was set to enter the final year of a three-year contract he signed in 2019 before the extension.
Smith has been an iron man for the Buccaneers, missing just one game due to injury in his first six seasons. He also sat out the Week 15 contest at Atlanta last season while on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Smith has played 100% of the team's offensive snaps in three of those six seasons and never fewer than 90%. His total of 6,684 offensive snaps played since 2015 are the third most by any player in the NFL in that span.
Smith's extension comes on the heels of a dominant postseason performance, both for him and the Buccaneers offensive line as a whole. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith did not give up a sack and did not commit a penalty during the team's four-game run to the title. He was credited with allowing just four quarterback pressures during those four games, in which he played every offensive snap. The Buccaneers' offensive line allowed only six sacks during the playoffs, including just one each in the last three contests. In Super Bowl LV, Tom Brady used excellent protection to complete 21 of 29 passes and throw three touchdowns on his way to MVP honors.
The offensive line was a strength for the Buccaneers during the regular season, as well. Tampa Bay allowed a sacks-per-pass play rate of 3.51%, which was both the second-best mark in the NFL in 2020 and the second-best single-season percentage in franchise history. That protection for Brady was a critical factor in the Bucs' 2020 offense finishing second in the NFL with 289.1 passing yards per game and third with 30.8 points scored per game.
Tampa Bay's entire starting offensive line from 2020 will return for the 2021 season.