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Lavonte David wants to remain with Buccaneers, but 'anything can happen' in free agency

The Buccaneers kept two big-name free agents-to-be in Tampa this week by signing Mike Evans to a new contract and using the franchise tag on Antoine Winfield Jr. Now Jason Licht's job turns to hanging onto the rest of the Krewe.

While most focus on Baker Mayfield's future, Lavonte David remains a key cog in the Bucs' ship. On Tuesday, the pending free-agent linebacker told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he hopes to stay in Tampa.

"I feel like I've got some good leverage, especially coming off the season that I had," he said. "I mean I really don't pay attention to that, but a lot of people throughout the organization and my agent will tell you, you know, I had a great season for a 33-year-old. So I'm pretty confident in that and I'm pretty confident in myself. Right now, I'm not really focusing on it. I'm really just going it one day at a time. Taking it one day at a time.

"Obviously, I would love to finish my career at an organization that I played for the past 12 years, but anything can happen. I'm just focusing on what I can focus on and let everything else unfold."

David has made up for the steps he's lost with age with savvy knowledge. The linebacker can still knife the gap in run defense and remains stellar in coverage, seemingly always one step ahead of the quarterback.

In his 12th season in Tampa, David generated 134 total tackles -- his most since 2015 -- 17 for loss, 4.5 sacks, five passes defensed and one forced fumble.

Last offseason David inked a one-year deal to stay in Tampa. Given his pedigree and age, it would make sense for sides to find common ground on a similar deal. If talks collapse, surely several teams could use a veteran with David's ability and leadership.

For now, David isn't fretting about the future, noting that the conversation between his agent and the club has "been steady."

"You know me, I've just been not really focusing on it," he said. "I've been hanging out back home, spending time with my family. Whenever it comes about, we'll talk about it. Definitely excited to see how everything goes and see how talks go. But right now I'm not really worried."

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