Lavonte David addresses his future with Buccaneers ahead of free agency

The Buccaneers vet is sending a clear message to the front office.
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

NFL free agency is set to open on March 13th, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a number of things to take care of on that front.

It's hard to prioritize which move is the most important since re-signing Antoine Winfield Jr., Baker Mayfield, and Mike Evans all seems equally critical. The wheels on something with Baker are expected to start turning at the NFL Combine this week, while Winfield is likely getting tagged.

Things with Evans are a little dicier but all signs still point toward the two sides figuring something out so that he returns next season. Those three players aren't the only free agents the Bucs need to take care of, though, and Lavonte David is making sure his intentions are known before the offseason wheel starts turning too fast.

Lavonte David has a clear message for Buccaneers ahead of free agency

David is set to become a free agent in a few weeks and addressed his future in Tampa Bay while sitting down with The Ronnie and TKras Show on 95.3 WDAE.

“It’s at a point right now in my career – twelve years playing with one organization – a place where I’ve grown to be a man. Where I started as a young man and I grew up to be a man in the city of Tampa," David said. "The relationship that I gained throughout the city of Tampa. Of course, I would want to do that, I would want to stay a Buc for the rest of my career as long as I play. At the end of the day, I do want to retire a Buc, but it just has to be a mutual thing.”

This is essentially the same tune that David gleefully sang last offseason before eventually returning to Tampa Bay for one more season. He had interest from the Buffalo Bills, with some experts believing he'd leave the Bucs to chase another Super Bowl ring, but he came back on a team-friendly deal that helped massage the salary cap conundrum.

He's been vocal about wanting to follow in the footsteps of Derrick Brooks and play his entire Hall of Famer career in Tampa Bay, which bodes well for the two sides figuring something out this offseason.

He's also still a massively important piece of a top defense. While Mike Evans continued to set new records for the Bucs on offense last year, David was quietly doing the same on defense. He's a key leader in the locker room and a veteran presence who helped guide the team out of a 1-6 slump this past season.

David belongs in Tampa Bay and it's truthfully going to be a total shock if he ends up anywhere else.

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