Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith is headed for free agency next month and indications from Tampa are that the team wants him back whether they agree on a new contract or have to use the franchise tag.
It sounds like that suits Smith just fine. The 2015 second-round pick was on NFL Network Wednesday and said his preference is to stay with a team that put him in a “position to succeed.”
“I hope so,” Smith said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “I hope so. That’s the thing, you never know. But I love Tampa. The community, teammates, everybody there. I’ve kind of established myself there, so why not?”
When it comes to reasons to want to be in Tampa, Smith’s history with the team is matched by his optimism about what new head coach Bruce Arians will bring to the franchise.
“It’s pretty cool,” Smith said. “I’m actually really excited. I sat down with B.A. for about 15-20 minutes just chopping it up, and the vibe around the facility is just amazing. Everybody is upbeat and excited and to see that aura come from one person is crazy. I love it, and I just can’t wait to get out there.”
If all works out as both sides apparently hope, Smith will be out there with the Bucs for their offseason program later this year.