Seahawks keep Bradley McDougald off the market with a new three-year deal
McDougald would have been a sought-after free agent had he hit the open market
Seattle Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald was expected to be an under-the-radar free-agent target for secondary-needy teams, but that won't happen anymore. The Seahawks kept McDougald off the market by signing him to a new three-year deal shortly before the start of the league's "legal tampering period," per a report from NFL.com's Mike Garofolo.
McDougald signed with Seattle last offseason after spending the first four years of his career with the Chiefs and Buccaneers. He stepped into the Seattle lineup when Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor missed time with injuries and fared well in his role. He played every single snap for the Seahawks defense from Week 9 on and emerged as an important contributor on the back end, particularly in coverage.
He would likely have had multiple aggressive suitors had he reached free agency, but the Seahawks stepped in and made sure that he stuck around. The Seattle secondary has already undergone major changes with the release of both Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane, and there have been rumors surrounding the possible departures of both Chancellor and Earl Thomas. With McDougald returning on a decently-sized deal, expect those rumors to heat up even more over the next few days.
Moving on from Chancellor would have a negative effect on the Seahawks' salary cap situation, but given the uncertainty surrounding his health (he suffered a potentially career-ending neck injury last season), it was important for Seattle to maintain some stability at the safety position by keeping McDougald in the fold. His staying off the market is likely good news for other free-agent safeties, who now have one less player with whom to compete.
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