Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David is quite possibly the best outside linebacker in the game today. Even after what some considered 2014 as a “down” year for David, he still emerged as one of the best last season.
On Sunday, he agreed to a five-year extension worth $50.25 million with $25.5 million guaranteed making him the highest paid 4-3 outside linebacker — deservedly so. Yet, since his rookie year, not once has he been voted to the Pro Bowl.
Year after year, Pro Bowl snub after Pro Bowl snub, David continues to play like the All-Pro linebacker that he is. He has been in two separate defensive schemes now and in both he has excelled. He is often compared to Carolina Panthers’ middle linebacker Luke Kuechly which I often ask why when David’s play has stood out more both statistically and on film.
Tackles for loss, run stuffs, sacks, interceptions, the list goes on. And David is at or near the top of each.
Who needs the Pro Bowl anyways? An overly exaggerated, low quality event that will continue to feature the voting power of many who only vote for their favorite player or popular name anyhow.
David got what he deserves, with or without the Pro Bowl. Not once has he let not being voted into the NFL’s All-Star game bring him down. Instead, all the 25-year-old has done is go to work with the focus being on helping his teammates win football games.
Former cornerback Ronde Barber — snubbed from the 2002 Pro Bowl — once said after Tampa Bay clinched their Super Bowl 37 birth, “Pro Bowl my ass. I’m going to San Diego.”
Maybe — if David is snubbed once again — he’ll echo Barber’s comments by saying he is going to Santa Clara.