Lavonte David admits another team could 'come scoop me up' in free agency

All signs point toward Lavonte David returning, but he's not ruling out other possibilities.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Being a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans is a lot like that scene in Pig when Nicholas Cage exclaims that he doesn't get a lot of things to care about.

Bucs fans have been through the wringer over the last two decades, with a pair of Super Bowls being surrounded by general unpleasantness. Things have been a lot smoother in the wake of the last Super Bowl victory than the first, which was followed by 17 years of brutal football.

There have been bright spots though, one of which was the team drafting Lavonte David back in 2012 and watching him develop into a Hall of Fame player. He helped bridge the gap between the second Dark Age throughout the 2010s and the Super Bowl season in 2020, and has been the Bucs most loyal player this side of Mike Evans the entire time.

That loyalty is being put to the test again this offseason, as David is set to hit free agency. All signs have pointed toward him returning, including statements he made claiming he'll retire if he's not a Buccaneer, but he changed his tune a bit in an interview with Good Morning Football this week.

Lavonte David admits he could leave Buccaneers in free agency

David stopped by GMFB and talked about his future, from how he feels ready to continue playing at a high level to where he might continue his career -- extra emphasis on that second part.

"I'm ready to play. I still feel like I got a lot left in me," David said. "Right now I have a lot of confidence, especially after the season we just had."

That's not the most interesting thing he said, though. When asked by Peter Schrager about becoming a free agent again, David wouldn't rule out another teaming scooping him up and stealing him away from the Buccaneers.

To be clear, he reiterated the same points he's been harping on over the last year about how he wants to retire with the Bucs, but he admitted he's not naive enough to assume that will be the case.

"There's a lot of respect from me and the Buccaneers organization, but a lot of things have to happen and you just never know," David said. " I've said it before, I'd like to retire a Buccaneer, be up there with all those great names, but I'm not naive to the fact that somebody else could come scoop me up. I'm definitely open to all options, but I'd love to finish out my career here in Tampa."

If you just felt a pit in your stomach, you're not alone. All along we've heard David emphasize that he wants to retire with the Buccaneers, but this is the first time the message has been mixed. He's not wrong about needing to consider all option, and looking out for himself should be the way he's approaching his third trip to free agency.

That being said, his comments put pressure on the Bucs to figure something out and ensure that another team doesn't come and scoop him up. The optimist in us all will argue that this is merely David putting the ball in Jason Licht's court so that a deal gets done, but that doesn't make what he said any easier to hear.