3 Buccaneers that need to step up for the rest of the season
By Rob Leeds
Donovan Smith is another player who is battling for his future in Tampa Bay. The starting left tackle for the Bucs has been public enemy number one for the franchise over the last few years, so a strong showing in the playoffs could make a solid case to stay put.
The Buccaneers have experienced bad luck with their offensive line, especially during the Jameis Winston era, but they have turned the page on that period during this season. Tom Brady has actually experienced games where he wasn’t sacked at all, and the line is consistently rated as one of the best in the league.
The line’s interior has been superb when healthy, Tristan Wirfs has staked a clear claim as the best tackle in the 2020 class, and Donovan Smith has been extremely average this season, but that does little to shift the tides of the fanbase.
While the fans have little control over the personnel decisions, the Buccaneer front office has to wonder if Smith’s mediocre performances are worth the mountains of money they currently have invested. Donovan Smith’s seat has begun to warm up with no guaranteed money left on his contract after this season.
Smith may be derided for his subpar performances more than most players, but having an average left tackle in the NFL is not the worst place to be. Even a slightly above average performance down the stretch could have Smith in a safe place to keep his job, but above all else, Smith keeping Tom Brady protected should keep the offense rolling against any competition.