Donovan Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reportedly agreed to a three-year extension to keep the starting left tackle in the pewter and red.
After it was reported yesterday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would use the franchise tag on left tackle Donovan Smith Donovan Smith, the team has instead reportedly agreed to a three year extension three about three hours before the deadline to apply the tag. The deal is reportedly worth $41.25 million over that three-year span, with $27 million fully guaranteed.
Netting $13.75 million annually is a win for Smith, who has gotten increasingly better over the past three seasons and is on an upward trajectory. In a year where the Bucs have plenty of other holes, it is a good sign that the deal got done with Smith.
This should be the first of a flurry of pre-free agency moves that the Bucs will make as this deal puts them at under $4 million in cap flexibility to spend. With big contracts and no guaranteed money to Demar Dotson, DeSean Jackson, and Gerald McCoy, it would not be a surprise to see Tampa Bay move these above 30-year-old veterans in order to clear cap space.
It has yet to be seen if Tampa Bay will use the franchise tag on another free agent such as Adam Humphries or Kwon Alexander not that the Buccaneers do not have to use it to retain the services of smith. While the price tag would be hefty to tag either of these players and the Bucs do not currently have the cap space after the Smith deal to make the tag possible, we have seen the Miami Dolphins take that risk with Jarvis Landry a year ago before trading him to the Cleveland Browns.
With still plenty of holes to fill and only six draft picks, the Buccaneers will have to make other moves in order to add talent to their roster, but locking up Smith is a great first step for Jason Licht as free agency is set to begin. Expect this to be the pre-cursor of a frenzy in the next two weeks.