It could be exhausting to consider, however Donovan Smith is already coming into his eighth season with the Bucs. A second-round decide 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 aspect, he’s enjoying one of the best soccer of his profession.
So, eight seasons and two contracts in, Smith is in “profession Buccaneer” territory. He may put on pink and pewter at some stage in his profession if he indicators yet one more 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 group that drafted him. Merely put, he’s open to the concept.
“I don’t know of many guys who might have been drafted by a group after which [would] nonetheless be capable of retire by the identical group, to have the ability to spend all of these years with that group,” Smith mentioned. “It’s undoubtedly one thing that I’d stay up for and [am] clearly not against doing. I began there, and why not end there? It’s undoubtedly one thing I’ve considered and it’s undoubtedly 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 potential that the subsequent contract he indicators might be his final within the NFL.
It’s exhausting 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 way of numerous accidents. That kind of reliability is tough to search 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 12 months.
He might not have the Professional Bowl and All-Professional alternatives 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 might very nicely see his title up within the Ring of Honor inside Raymond James Stadium sooner or later.
You’ll be able to watch Smith’s full look on Monday’s Pewter Report Podcast right here: