5 key players the Buccaneers can’t afford to let get away in free agency

There are a handful of Buccaneers set to hit free agency this offseason that the team simply can't afford to lose.
Nic Antaya/GettyImages
4 of 5

Lavonte David, LB

Bringing back Lavonte David should be a no-brainer for the Buccaneers.

David joined the Buccaneers in 2012, making him the longest tenured player in the organization. He has been named a team captain ten years in a row, and his presence is invaluable to the franchise. He is the definition of a leader and competitor, and his leadership is crucial for the future of the Buccaneers.

David’s counterpart, Devin White, is also an impending free agent, but has struggled with inconsistency throughout his career, and is reportedly seeking a large payday this offseason, one the Bucs should be reluctant give him based on his play. It makes more sense for the Buccaneers to use that money to allow David to finish his career in Tampa Bay, and help to develop and mentor the future Bucs' linebackers.

In 2023, his age 33 season, David showed no signs of slowing down. He recorded an impressive 134 total tackles, and also produced 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. David continues to excel in all elements of the game as he puts the finishing touches on the Hall of Fame résumé he has built in Tampa.

Whenever David retires, he will join his teammate Mike Evans in the Buccaneers Ring of Honor and have his number retired — and likely be a Hall of Famer. Until that day comes, or until he stops performing at an elite level, the Bucs need to keep their long-tenured leader in Tampa Bay.