With the deadline for teams to designate a franchise player for 2019 coming in just hours, at least one player who was a candidate to be tagged has avoided it — in a positive way.
Buccaneers, Donovan Smith agree to extension
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud reported on Tuesday afternoon that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and left tackle Donovan Smith have agreed to a three-year extension.
Both report that the contract is for $41.25 million, with $27 million guaranteed.
Smith was the 34th overall pick in the 2015 draft, meaning his four-year rookie contract was set to expire in a matter of days if he wasn’t franchised or extended.
Iron man credentials
Listed at 6-foot-6, 338 pounds, Smith did not come off the field for a single snap in 2018, and has started and played all 64 games in his career thus far.
The Buccaneers preference was to sign Smith long-term, which obviously is what got done. Had Tampa Bay needed to use the franchise tag, it could have been done as a placeholder to give the sides more time to come to an agreement.
There is a mid-July deadline for teams to come to a multi-year deal with franchised players, otherwise players play under the tag for the season.
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