5 free agent replacements for Alex Anzalone the Detroit Lions should target
4. Lavonte David
Now we dive in for one of the biggest fish in the free agent linebacker pool.
David is 33 years old, with 11 NFL seasons and over 10,900 regular season snaps on his resume.
But he is not showing any signs of slowing down, with 124 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks and five pass breakups last season. In three of the last four seasons, he has not missed a single game while playing more than 1,000 defensive snaps. It’s not the be-all, end-all for his prowess in coverage, but his passer rating allowed in coverage improved to 90.9 this year from 106.5 in 2021. Additionally, his Pro Football Focus coverage grade (88.5) was second-best among off-ball linebackers this season.
On Super Bowl radio row, via Pewter Report, David offered the obvious and expected platitude about wanting to stay in Tampa Bay.
"I’m pretty sure they’ll probably hit me up whenever they kind of settle down. Because obviously, I would love to be back in Tampa. I played 11 years there. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. But I’m not naïve to the business side of football. So, I’m definitely grateful for whatever happens after.”"
The Buccaneers seem headed for a hard reset/tank in 2023 after Tom Brady’s retirement. They are in salary cap purgatory, and there will not relief from Brady, as his entire $35.1 million 2023 cap hit will apparently hit this year’s balance sheet in full.
Spotrac projects a one-year, $9.7 million deal for David. The Lions could reasonably go to two years for him, and add a veteran leader as well as a highly capable linebacker to their defense.