The Cleveland Browns are looking to bolster their linebacker unit with the addition of Lavonte David. The 31-year-old is among the most highly sought-after players in the 2021 NFL free agency. The Browns are keen on adding the veteran linebacker who starred in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' run to a Super Bowl victory last season.
Last offseason, the Browns' general manager Andrew Berry focused heavily on revamping the team's offensive line. The move paid dividends as the Browns' O-line, led by guard Wyatt Teller, finished the 2020 NFL season as the highest-rated O-line in the PFF rankings.
NFL Trade Rumors: Cleveland Browns interested in free agent linebacker Lavonte David
The Browns will now focus on improving their defense, which ranked 22nd in pass defense and ninth in run defense. The injury-stricken defense gave up 26.6 points per game in the 2020 NFL season, two more than they averaged in the previous campaign.
The Browns' stellar offense led the team to an 11-5 record and a place in the postseason for the first time in 18 years. However, their defense needs a massive facelift this offseason through the draft and free agency if the team is to hit the heights that they scaled in 2020.
While Lavonte David will be high on the Cleveland Browns' wishlist, the veteran is expected to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for at least another season. But the Bucs will see 33 players from their Super Bowl-winning roster hit free agency this offseason, including the likes of Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette. Given their cap situation, the Bucs might have to let go of a few of their standout performers from the 2020 NFL season.
If Lavonte David does become available, the Cleveland Browns will likely pounce on the opportunity to sign the veteran linebacker. The 31-year-old ranked second in the PFF's rankings for linebackers for the 2020 NFL season, with only Seattle Seahawks' perennial All-Pro Bobby Wagner earning a higher grade. His leadership will add value to the Cleveland Browns young linebackers’ room and help develop players like Mack Willison and Sione Takitaki.
If the Browns land Lavonte David, their defense, which already consists of Myles Garrett, will certainly have a more formidable look, at least on paper. If the interest is mutual between David and the Cleveland Browns, a deal between the two could certainly be on the cards.