TAMPA — "What better place to be, than in Tampa?”
Buccaneers offensive lineman Donovan Smith was all smiles on Thursday. The 27-year-old left tackle signed a two-year extension that keeps him in Tampa through the 2023 season.
“We love it here and want to be here,” Smith said about his teammates. "Continue to build, and go back out there and chase it again."
“Donovan has been a mainstay on our offensive line for the past six seasons and has helped elevate our offense into one of the NFL’s best,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht. “His durability and leadership have been a critical part of our success. Donovan was outstanding throughout our Super Bowl run and we are very excited to have him as a pillar of our line for years to come.”
Free agents Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukong Suh, and Ryan Succop all decided to stay with Tampa Bay. Smith said the relationship between himself and his teammates is what’s keeping the Super Bowl champions in their Bucs uniforms.
"We have a bunch of selfless guys. Men who enjoy learning,” Smith said. "We all come from different backgrounds. To be able to have that bond off the field, it makes it so much easier on the field."
You can add Smith’s name to the list of players who thinks this Bucs offense will be better next season.
"We have a bunch of guys coming back who’ve been in the system, know the system, learned the system,” he said. "You’re just going to see a bunch of guys coming back, flying around, having fun, playing fast. And I think that’s the scary part about it.”
Smith started all 15 games he played last season. Since his rookie season in 2015, Smith has played the third-most snaps of any offensive player in the NFL with 6,684.