NFL Wire News

Bucs trying to strike deals with RT Dotson, LB David


The Sports Xchange

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are working on new deals for right tackle Demar Dotson and linebacker Lavonte David.

Dotson and David hope to finalize new contracts before the start of training camp next week. Rookies will report Monday and the rest of the team on July 31.

Dotson recently changed agents, hiring Joby Branion to replace Greg Hobbs, whose last attempt to reach a deal resulted in Dotson’s two-week boycott of the offseason voluntary workouts.

“Demar and I talked after he came back to work for our (mandatory) minicamp in June, and while no promises were made by us, I think we have a good understanding of where we stand,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht told the Tampa Tribune.

Licht said an extension for David was his top priority, even if a deal isn’t done by the start of camp.

“Lavonte is a model player, a cornerstone of this franchise,” Licht said. “And it is our intention to make sure that he’s a part of this organization for years to come.”

Dotson, the Bucs’ longest tenured player, signed a three-year, $4.5-million contract extension in 2013 that is slated to pay the three-year starter $2.5 million this year and $1.75 million in 2016.

Faced with a series of fines that could have reached $100,000, the 29-year-old Dotson ended his boycott in time to attend the team’s mandatory minicamp.

“We were pretty close (to finishing a deal) before (the boycott began),” Dotson said in June. “I’m hoping if I show up we can get it done. I really don’t want to miss any workouts or training camp.”

David, 25, the Bucs’ leading tackler the past three seasons, is in the final year of his rookie contract and is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season. He signed a four-year, $3.596 million contract as a second-round draft pick (58th overall) out of Nebraska in 2012.

“The one thing I don’t want lost is that we do realize Lavonte is one of the elite (outside) linebackers in the league,” Licht told the Tampa Bay Times, “and he’s a cornerstone player and he should be rewarded for his outstanding play and what he means to this organization. We just need to find common ground.”

About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business