4 pending 2024 free agents Buccaneers fans should worry about losing

  • Tampa Bay is projected to have $28M in cap space next offseason
  • Bucs will have the 15th-worst cap situation in the league
  • Tristan Wirfs is projected for a $30M AAV contract
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Lavonte David, LB

There are only three players in NFL history who have Hall of Fame careers that were spent entirely with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lee Roy Selmon, Derrick Brooks, and Ronde Barber.

Lavonte David is making a pretty good case to become the fourth.

Just prior to hitting free agency this offseason, David talked about how it's important to him that he's carrying on the legacy of those three guys in being a Bucs lifer and he ended up backing up his word. Rather than sign elsewhere, including with an AFC Super Bowl contender that showed interest, David returned to Tampa Bay.

Not only that, he returned on an extremely team-friendly deal. He was aware of the tight salary cap situation the Bucs had and put the team before himself. That's an incredible gesture that shows how much the franchise means to him, but it's a fair question to wonder whether he'll do it again.

The Bucs are projected to have more salary cap wiggle room next offseason, but not much. There's the aforementioned new deal for Wirfs that is coming and probably one for Winfield too. It's very possible that the Bucs could have over $200 million tied up between two players next offseason, especially if Wirfs resets the tackle market with a $30 million AAV.

Something like that could together the screws on the budget for guys like David, who would probably have to take another team-friendly deal to return. David is humble and clearly all-in with the Bucs, but it's hard to look at the money guys like Alex Anzalone, Cole Holcomb, and Josey Jewell make -- all of whom are higher paid -- and not think David deserves more.