Lavonte David, Buccaneers working on new contract


With All-Pro Gerald McCoy under contract as one of the NFL's highest-paid interior linemen, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have turned their attention to their other defensive superstar.

NFL Media's Rand Getlin reported on Thursday's edition of NFL Total Access that the Bucs have been engaged in "active negotiations" with underpaid linebacker Lavonte David dating all the way back to the draft.

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Although both sides would like to have a deal in place by training camp, Getlin cautions that "meaningful distance" remains.

General manager Jason Licht has made it clear that David's contract is a high priority.

Much like Carolina's Thomas Davis, David is one of the game's most underappreciated stars due to the position he plays. With the exception of Denver's Von Miller, linebackers in 4-3 schemes are virtually ignored in Pro Bowl balloting because they don't post high sack numbers.

David stands with Miller, Davis and Detroit's DeAndre Levy as the NFL's premier 4-3 linebackers over the past three years.

As the backbone of Tampa Bay's defense, David and McCoy rival any linebacker-defensive lineman tandem in the league.

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