It might be arduous to imagine, however Donovan Smith is already getting into his eighth season with the Bucs. A second-round choose within the 2015 NFL Draft, he got here to Tampa Bay by the use of Penn State. And because the protector of Tom Brady’s blind facet, he’s enjoying the very best soccer of his profession.
So, eight seasons and two contracts in, Smith is in “profession Buccaneer” territory. He might put on purple and pewter at some point of his profession if he indicators yet another contract extension with Tampa Bay — whether or not that’s earlier than his present one expires or when it will definitely does.
In an look on Monday’s Pewter Report Podcast, Smith was requested about doubtlessly ending his profession with the crew that drafted him. Merely put, he’s open to the thought.
“I don’t know of many guys who could have been drafted by a crew after which [would] nonetheless have the ability to retire by the identical crew, to have the ability to spend all of these years with that crew,” Smith mentioned. “It’s positively one thing that I’d look ahead to and [am] clearly not against doing. I began there, and why not end there? It’s positively one thing I’ve considered and it’s positively there. However on the finish of the day, we’ll see when that stuff comes or when that point comes since you by no means know.”
“That point” isn’t far off. Smith has two years left on his present contract, which implies he’ll be a free agent in 2024. He’ll flip 31 earlier than that 2024 season. It’s attainable that the following contract he indicators could possibly be his final within the NFL.
It’s arduous to think about the Bucs not wanting to maintain him round for the lengthy haul, particularly given his sturdiness. He has missed simply two video games in his profession whereas enjoying by numerous accidents. That kind of reliability is difficult to seek out at any place, however for a left sort out, it’s nearly miraculous. To not point out, he appears to raise his play with every passing yr.
He could not have the Professional Bowl and All-Professional picks to point out for it, however his teammates and coaches know. Bucs followers ought to know, too. So, if he retires as a Tampa Bay lifer, he could very effectively see his identify up within the Ring of Honor inside Raymond James Stadium at some point.
You possibly can watch Smith’s full look on Monday’s Pewter Report Podcast right here: