The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed linebacker Lavonte David to a five-year contract extension, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. The deal is reportedly worth $50.25 million, $25.56 million of which is guaranteed, and will keep him under contract through 2020. The Bucs are expected to make the deal official at a 2 p.m. ET press conference Monday.
At just 25 years old going into his fourth year in the NFL, David has shown nothing but top-tier play in 46 games, making him arugably one of the league's most underrated players. After getting Gerald McCoy under contract, there was little doubt that David would be addressed by the Buccaneers.
Despite missing two games in 2014, David led the Buccaneers with 146 tackles. He also had a sack, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He has 430 tackles, 10 sacks, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and six interceptions in three seasons in the league. He was also named a first-team All-Pro in 2013, despite not making the Pro Bowl.
David was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of his four-year rookie contract after the end of the 2015 season. He will now see a massive pay increase, as his original contract was worth a little less than $3.6 million over four years.
The Buccaneers have not been a good team in recent seasons, but they would have been even worse without David. He's been the centerpiece of that defense, and now with this extension he'll be the centerpiece going forward.