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2016 NFL DraftInjuriesFree AgencyGame FilmNFL Free AgencyToday's NFL NewsJason Licht comments on the Donovan Smith contract situationNew Donovan Smith Jersey White ,16commentsSmith isn’t going anywhereESTShareTweetShareShareJason Licht comments on the Donovan Smith contract situationChristopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY SportsIt’s been quite a few weeks since we’ve had any real comments from Jason Licht and Bruce Arians, but with the combine underway in Indianapolis, both spoke to the media on Wednesday morning. Separate from the combine interview, Jason Licht also did an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio where he discussed many topics. One of the topics that was brought up was the status of their left tackle, Donovan Smith, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Licht was asked about Donovan and had the following to say:“He’s another guy, we will talk with him while we are here, whether it’s to do an extension or we can franchise him as well, but I don’t envision Donovan Smith being anywhere else but the Bucs, at least for next year,” Licht said.Licht also followed that up by stating if a long-term deal cannot be reached, the team will “more then likely, yes” use the franchise tag on Smith. This was expected, as the Buccaneers have always been high on Donovan Smith from the day he was drafted. For the Buccaneers sake, I think it would be in their best interest to reach a long-term deal with Donovan because if he plays lights out in 2019, his $12-$14 million price range likely jumps to about $16 million. We will see what happens, but it’s crystal clear Donovan will be back with Tampa Bay in 2019 and likely beyond. TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The bye week is coming at a good time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who not only are trying to get acclimated to having Jameis Winston back in the lineup, but need to find a way to fix a leaky defense.Coach Dirk Koetter made it official Monday, confirming Winston will start the team’s next game — at Atlanta — on Oct. 14.The No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft missed the first three games of the season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.Ryan Fitzpatrick became the first player in league history to throw for more than 400 yards in three consecutive games while leading the Bucs to a 2-2 start in Winston’s absence.The “FitzMagic” show came to a screeching halt this past Sunday, when Tampa Bay fell behind Chicago by 35 points. Winston played the entire second half of the 48-10 loss.“Fitz didn’t play as well as he had been playing, but it was a 100 percent team deal,” Koetter said , reiterating the Bucs were outplayed in every phase of the game.“At the same time, Jameis Winston is the guy that’s going to be here way longer than I am,” the coach added. “He needs to be playing and he will unless he gets hurt.”Meanwhile, Koetter stressed what he has no intentions of doing is firing defensive coordinator Mike Smith.The Bucs have allowed a NFL-high 139 points and rank near the bottom of the league in pass defense.“For those people who think snapping your fingers and changing your coordinator a quarter of the way through the season, OK, what would you do after that? If we fired Mike Smith, what would the next move be?” Koetter said.“Changing one person, when we had things go wrong at all levels (Sunday). … We as coaches have got to coach better. That starts with me,” Koetter added. “But Mike Smith didn’t miss any tackles. He didn’t not rush the passer. He didn’t blow any coverages. He didn’t have any communication errors.”The decision to start Winston against the Falcons essentially has been the plan since Koetter learned in late June that Winston would miss the first three games “unless we were playing lights-out in a good way or lights-out in a bad way like (Sunday).”The coach reiterated Fitzpatrick, who’s played for seven teams during a 14-year career, did a good job filling in for Winston.“We brought Fitz here two years ago to be a mentor to Jameis and a guy who could fill in if Jameis was injured. Both times we asked him to fill in — a three-game stretch a year ago he went 2-1 and a four-game stretch he led us to 2-2 this year,” Koetter said. “Job well done. In fact, excellent. I think any team in the league would take that.”Fitzpatrick, 35, said he understands the move.“What I said to my Dad after how Week 1 went, and Week 2 and Week 3, was basically … either I’m going to win the NFL MVP this year or I’ll be back on the bench at some point. That’s just the reality of the situation,” said Fitzpatrick, who’s thrown for 1,356 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.“It’s not something I necessarily wanted to hear. … But Jameis is back,” Fitzpatrick added. “Jameis is the guy. He’s the face of the franchise. He’s going to do a great job.”