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2-time Pro Bowler Lavonte David plans to test NFL free agency: 4 logical landing spots

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not expected to re-sign long-time defensive star Lavonte David this week, meaning the two-time Pro Bowler will test his value in NFL free agency on March 15.

On Thursday, NFL Network league insider Ian Rapoport reported that with the Buccaneers being strapped for cash this offseason, the team isn’t expected to re-sign Lavonte David before the start of free agency, and he will likely find a new home on the open market after 11 seasons in Tampa.

The decision is a frustrating but not completely unexpected move for Tampa Bay. David had another fantastic season for the NFC South champions, as he racked up 124 tackles and three sacks in 2022. This means the man that helped the team win a championship in 2020 will want a raise on the $12.5 million he made this past season and will have to look for it in NFL free agency.

Related: Bold predictions for 2023 NFL free agency – Destinations for over 50 top players

Lavonte David has a Super Bowl title, and two Pro Bowl appearances on his resume. At 33, he is exiting his prime years, but in securing a seventh season of 120 or more tackles last year, he proved he is still a high-level player in the league and has a lot left to offer. With that in mind, here are four teams that could make a strong push for Lavonte David on the free-agent market.

lavonte david
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans

While the Houston Texans were solid against the pass in 2022, they were the worst in the NFL against the run. Lavonte David is no longer in his prime, but he would be a major difference-maker for a team in desperate need of a tackling machine that can help slow down opposing run games. David would be an excellent option toward that pursuit for new head coach DeMeco Ryans.

New England Patriots

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has had many great linebacker combos during his tenure leading the team. While the Pats have a solid anchor in the second level with Ja’Whaun Bentley, he could certainly use some help. A combo of Bentley and David could be dynamite and be key in getting New England back to the playoffs. Assuming, of course, their problems on offense are fixed in 2023.

lavonte david
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders were messy on both sides of the ball last season, however, their defense was far and away the weaker unit. No player racked up more than 100 tackles and Chandler Jones was a major disappointment after being a key free-agent addition last year. Lavonte David is the type of player that could help the Raiders make a quick turnaround in 2023, and with the team having a great deal of salary cap space, they are one of the teams that could pay the sort of money he will be looking for.

New York Giants

The New York Giants’ defense was a solid unit in 2022, however, they lacked strong play at linebacker. With the team just a couple of key players away from making some serious noise in the NFC next season, David is the sort of talent they really could use on defense. A proven veteran with championship experience and good years left in the tank.

Plus, like the Raiders, the Giants have the type of money that could make heading to New York financially worth it for David.

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