Time to pay Lavonte David, Gerald McCoy

TAMPA, Fla. -- There is no doubt new general manager Jason Licht needs to bring in some players from the outside. But he should take care of a couple of guys on the inside at the same time.

This offseason would be the perfect time to lock up linebacker Lavonte David and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (perhaps Tampa Bay’s two best players) to long-term contracts. McCoy is heading into the final year of his contract. David is under contract through 2015, but he already has outplayed his rookie contract.

David, a first-team All-Pro, is only scheduled to make $705,000 in base salary this season. He already has earned a hefty raise, and the Bucs would be wise to take care of him. If they wait, chances are David will have another big season and only drive up his price tag.

McCoy’s price tag already is high because he’s established himself as one of the best defensive tackles in the league. He is to count $15.6 million against this year’s cap. But, if the Bucs do a new deal with McCoy and structure it properly, they can clear space against this year’s cap.