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NFL Free Agency: Lavonte David signs new contract

On3 imageby:Sam Gillenwater03/15/23


Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David trending toward free agency Nebraska
Jason Allen | ISI Photos | Getty Images

Lavonte David has spent the last decade as one of the NFL’s highest-impact linebackers down in Tampa Bay. Now, after being one of the top free agents this offseason, that legacy will continue with the Buccaneers on a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

In his decade in Tampa Bay, David had started in each and every one of his 166 career games. He has produced 1,346 tackles in that span with nearly 1,000 of them coming solo. David has also accumulated 29 sacks, 12 interceptions, 59 pass deflections, 27 forced fumbles with 18 recoveries, a safety, and three defensive touchdowns for the Buccaneers defense.

With all those numbers, he managed to make three All-Pro teams, one Pro Bowl, and finished Top-5 for Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. After several years of work and dedication, David also got to see it pay off in the form of Tampa Bay’s win in Super Bowl LV where he became a one-time champion.

More on the 2023 NFL offseason, free agency

The NFL 2023 calendar year is set to begin at 4 p.m. ET on March 15 when contracts running through 2022 will officially run out, making those players free agents. Prior to the beginning of free agency, teams will have a chance to designate one franchise or transition tag player, starting on Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. ET and ending on March 7. Beginning March 13 through March 15 teams will be allowed a legal negotiation with players who are set to become unrestricted free agents.

In addition to NFL free agency, the new year also marks the beginning of all trades being made official by the league office. April 21 marks the deadline to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets while April 26 marks the deadline for teams to match restricted free agent offers sheets. 722 players are slated to become free agents in 2023.

More on restricted, exclusive rights free agents

Players with only three years of accredited NFL experience become restricted free agents. Their original team will have the option to apply first-round, second-round, original-round, and right-of-fight-of-first-refusal tenders on players at escalating price tags. The higher the round, the more expensive the tender amount; however, if a separate team does offer a contract and the original team does not match that round pick will be conveyed from the new team to the original team. Right of first refusal only gives a team the option to match or not. If they don’t match, they get nothing in return. An original-round tender would send a draft pick from whatever round the player was drafted back to the original team if they chose not to match. The original team will have five days to match once a player signs an offer sheet from a new team.