Patriots: 3 defensive free agents NE should sign over Kyle Van Noy
By Jerry Trotta
1. Lavonte David
During their Super Bowl parade, the Buccaneers were outspoken about wanting to re-sign all of their impending free agents. However, unless everybody takes a significant discount (and Tom Brady reconstructs his contract) that isn’t happening, which means that linebacker Lavonte David could enter the open market in two weeks’ time.
If the Patriots stand any chance at signing David, they better prepare for a bidding war, because he’s primed to have several teams vying for his services, which is understandable considering that he seems to get better with age and is fresh off one of the most productive seasons of his career.
The Patriots signing Lavonte David away from the Buccaneers would be a championship move.
In 16 games, David played 99% of the defensive snaps and registered 117 tackles (16 for loss), six passes defended, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Those numbers might not seem like much, but anybody who watched the Bucs throughout the regular season and their championship run knows just how immense he was in the middle of their defense.
The Patriots’ linebacking corps was a major point of weakness in 2020, and turning around to pair Hightower with a fellow grizzled vet in David would be quite the response. It would also take the pressure off the likes of Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings, who were taken in the second and third rounds of last year’s draft, respectively, to produce at a high level.
If New England has serious intentions about returning to the playoffs and potentially making a deep run in the tournament, they have to make statement signings in free agency, and poaching one of the game’s best linebackers in David from the Bucs would undoubtedly fall under that category.