The Buccaneers wasted no time on Wednesday introducing newly re-signed left tackle Donovan Smith to the Tampa Bay media. And as you can imagine, Smith was all smiles with his new three-year 41 million-dollar contract.
The former second-round pick from Penn State sat with GM Jason Licht, who got the deal done by Tuesday afternoon’s deadline to keep Smith from being placed under the Franchise Tag for the 2019 season.
First, Licht spoke glowingly about Smith saying “his combination of athleticism and strength and more importantly knowledge and a desire to play every week,” were key factors in bringing him back aboard at the very important left tackle position.
The deal includes $27 million guaranteed, but apparently, all of that is in the first two years of the contract. This translates that Smith got a lot of money upfront for Tampa Bay getting the trade-off that there’s no real obligation for them to Smith after 2020, if he doesn’t play well.
For his part, Smith made clear that the comfort of playing in Tampa Bay, including with his best friend on the team, offensive line, Ali Marpet made the new deal even sweeter. Smith and Marpet, who were drafted together in the second round in 2015, have hosted weekly radio and television shows in the Tampa Bay market over the last couple of years.
And Wednesday night, they were together celebrating at the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game, where the Lightning have the best record in the NHL:
— Donovan Smith (@DSmith_76) March 6, 2019
Smith told the media that he could not imagine playing for anyone else, and the Buccaneers ensured that by getting this deal done for the new coaching staff led by Bruce Arians.
There was a bit of hilarious “social media back and forth.” after Smith’s deal was announced Tuesday.
That’s when Saints Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Jordan took a dig at Smith’s pass blocking, while simultaneously encouraging teammate Alex Okafor to re-sign with New Orleans, because “food solifiied” for the two of them going against Smith twice more, next season:
— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) March 5, 2019
Of course, Smith took his turn and responded with only emojis and a photo :
— Donovan Smith (@DSmith_76) March 5, 2019
And it should be pointed, that despite their short comings in the win-loss column in 2018, the Bucs offense with Ryan Fitzpatick at the helm torched Jordan, Okafor and the Saints in week one last year.
To the tune of: 48 points scored (a Bucs record in an opener) Fitzpatrick with 400+ yards and being named NFC Offensive Player of the week.
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