Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been good spenders in the free agency market by adding Brent Grimes, Josh Robinson, Robert Ayers, J.R. Sweezy, and keeping their own in Doug Martin, Keith Tandy, and Chris Conte. Now, they add another player to that list and that man is veteran linebacker Daryl Smith. The financial details on Smith’s deal on not released, but it is a one-year deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, but I expect his deal to be worth at least $3mil to $4mil with incentives.
Furthermore, the 34-year-old linebacker will most likely switch back to an outside linebacker role (strongside) that will continue to let Kwon Alexander stay as the team’s middle linebacker. Now, he has spent the last three seasons in Baltimore as their middle linebacker (3-4 scheme). Do not forget that he was an outside linebacker in his early NFL years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, which he will go back too. Also, Mike Smith uses a 4-3 hybrid like defense that switches over sometimes to a 3-4 defensive scheme. The Bucs have one of the best linebacker trios in the NFL with Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, and newly acquired Daryl Smith, but Smith is not a great three-down linebacker at this point of his career due to him getting older and being labeled a liability in the passing game. So, he could be subbed out on third downs that would allow the Bucs to explore in the later portion of the draft for an outside linebacker to address that problem. Lastly, players they could look into are Travis Feeney (Washington), Deion Jones (LSU), or De’Vondre Campbell (Minnesota) in the third or fourth round of the draft.
In addition to Smith coming to Tampa, he has had a solid NFL career, which he is known as a solid tackling machine, but as a leader on and off the field. He has played in 174 games (172 starts) and piled up 746 tackles, 30.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, 70 pass deflections, and forced 15 fumbles. He brings versatility, leadership, and a winning background to a young football club in the Bucs.
Finally, he joined the Baltimore Ravens for the 2013 season after spending nine long years in Jacksonville and he has not missed a game in his 3 years in Baltimore, which he started the last 48 regular-season games for the team. In 2015, he racked up 121 tackles to go along with one interception and three sacks.
Note: Smith has a long history with Bucs coaches, having played under defensive coordinator Mike Smith and linebackers coach Mark Duffner when he was in Jacksonville, when Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator.