Sources: Bucs, OT Smith reach $41.25M deal

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and starting left tackle Donovan Smith agreed to a three-year, $41.25 million deal, including $27 million fully guaranteed at signing on Tuesday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The $27 million is guaranteed over the first two years of the deal, a source told ESPN. With the extension, the Bucs were able to lower Smith's 2019 cap hit from $14.1 million under the franchise tag to $12.5 million. The Bucs now have approximately $3.65 million in salary-cap space.

The contract agreement came hours before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline for teams to designate franchise players. Smith was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next week.

The Buccaneers announced the three-year extension but did not disclose the terms.

There was never a question of whether Smith was going to be with the Bucs in 2019. It was a matter of whether Smith would be playing under the franchise tag or on a long-term deal, sources told ESPN.

"One way or another Donovan was gonna be here. It's just nice to know that we know that he's going to be here for a long time coming, hopefully longer than this current deal," general manager Jason Licht said at a news conference Wednesday.

Smith said Wednesday the first person he talked to after he agreed to terms was his mother, Sharon Thomas, via FaceTime.

"One of the hardest things for me is to see my mother cry ... whether it be happy tears or sad tears," Smith said. "She just pretty much broke down and just said, 'I prayed for this day.'"

Smith himself hadn't shed any tears, but said he couldn't sleep the night before. He also said throughout the process, he kept in mind that teammates like Kwon Alexander were vying for new deals.

"You build so much with guys in the locker room and stuff like that. It makes decisions a little tougher -- although it is a business and you've gotta build your own brand," Smith said. "But you've gotta take all those things into consideration. I love this locker room, my teammates. One of the greatest things is coming into this building every day -- to still be able to do that is huge."

"You can't control it. That's my brother," Smith said of Alexander. "We came in together. I wish nothing but the best for him. Obviously I hope he's here. He's a great player. But it's a business and you never know."

Smith, 25, was a second-round draft pick (34th overall) in 2015. He has started 64 consecutive games, tied for second among left tackles in the league, behind Jake Matthews of the Atlanta Falcons.

Smith's 4,142 snaps since the start of the 2015 season rank second among all players, behind only Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, and his 2,559 pass-blocking plays are the most in that span.

While Smith has, at times, had issues with consistency, his durability has been considered his greatest asset, and many within the Bucs organization have felt he hasn't reached his ceiling yet.

The Buccaneers also re-signed linebacker Devante Bond to a one-year deal on Tuesday.