The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to get a contract extension done with Lavonte David before training camp begins, but as usual, there’s quite a wide gulf between the two sides.

David is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, which will earn him $3.5 million by the end of the contract. Obviously, he’s going to get a sweet raise, but possibly it’s his position and the team’s system on defense that’s causing all these stalls and “problems” in the negotiations.

Image: Source

Image: Source

The problem for David is that he’s an outside linebacker in the wrong system. He plays in a 4-3 defense, and only two 4-3 outside linebackers make more than $6.5 million a season (K.J. Wright and Thomas Davis). In a 3-4 defense there are 15 outside linebackers making more than $6.5 million, which means there’s quite a significant gap between what he’s asking for and what the Buccaneers, at the moment, are willing to pay.

David had a rough 2014 with just one sack compared to his All-Pro 2013, when he finished with 7 sacks and 5 interceptions, but his true value is probably somewhere in the middle of it all, and his numbers are suffering from playing in a system that doesn’t help wide linebackers pick up eye popping numbers.

Hat Tip: NFL.Com