Lavonte David has always been one of the best linebackers in the NFL, but he never had the spotlight thanks to Tampa Bay’s consistently-underperforming roster. However, with Tom Brady in town, Lavonte David showed the world just how good he is and should draw tons of interest as a free agent. The former second-round pick is arguably the second-best all-around linebacker in football and should have no shortage of suitors on the open market.
2021 Free Agent Team Fits: Lavonte David
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots find themselves in an interesting position heading into 2021. The team didn’t make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and Bill Belichick has nearly $63 million in available spending money. The stars don’t align like this very often, as the eight-time Super Bowl champion coach will do everything in his power to rebuild his team this offseason. Linebacker is a crucial part of Belichick’s defense, and Lavonte David is as good as they come. Even with Dont’a Hightower coming back, New England needs to find a great three-down linebacker to build around. That player could very well be David, if he ends up leaving Tampa Bay.
The Buffalo Bills have a fantastic roster with a young franchise quarterback set to hit the prime of his career. This team should be one of the best in the NFL next year, and signing Lavonte David would only increase their odds of winning it all in 2021. Linebacker is probably the only true weakness on the Buffalo defense, and David’s coverage ability is the one missing ingredient in an otherwise-solid unit. Winning the AFC means beating the Kansas City Chiefs, and David’s ability to hang with Travis Kelce in coverage should help Buffalo achieve that goal.
The Denver Broncos don’t have a quarterback, but the rest of the roster is very strong. The unit boasts a strong receiving core and has nearly $32 million with which to rebuild its roster. That number could very well be higher, as there are rumors that Denver might part ways with Von Miller and his $18 million cap hit. David is no spring chicken, but he’s still got plenty of great years left in his tank. He’s the perfect building block on defense and his veteran leadership would be a welcome addition to a younger roster.
The Miami Dolphins embraced the tank in 2019, and are actually ahead of schedule in their rebuilding efforts. The team JUST missed the playoffs in 2020, and could very well find their way into the postseason with a strong offseason. Kyle Van Noy was a great free agent signing last year, but he needs more help. Adding Lavonte David would give the Dolphins one of the better linebacker duos in the NFL, which is crucial for Brian Flores’ defensive scheme. With these two and a great cornerback duo, Miami’s defense should be good enough to earn a spot in the postseason.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Speculating on free agent fits is fun, but the most likely landing spot for Lavonte David is with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The reigning Super Bowl champions are all-in on Tom Brady and are clearly disregarding the future to try to make the most of his remaining years. That strategy worked in 2020, and it sure looks like Tampa Bay is going to try to bring back as much of the same roster as possible in 2021. While they might have to push some money around, it’s hard to imagine a world where Tampa Bay lets an elite player like David walk away for nothing.
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