McDougald is signing with Seattle on a one-year, $2 million contract, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.
McDougald fills a clear need for a Seahawks team that previously didn't have any veteran depth at safety behind the phenomenal starting duo of Kam Chancellor (ankle) and Earl Thomas (leg) -- both of whom are recovering from surgery. It's a bit surprising McDougald had to settle for such a modest contract and a backup role, coming off a 2016 season in which he recorded a career-high 91 tackles (79 solo) while starting all 16 games for Tampa Bay. He also had 87 tackles (67 solo) and played all 16 games the previous year, but his work in pass coverage has always been questionable, which explains the inability to find a better offer.
McDougald, who set career highs in tackles, fumble recoveries and passes defensed in 2016, is a strong candidate to be re-signed before free agency officially kicks off Thursday, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Young, durable, and modestly-salaried players are highly desirable, and as such, the 26-year-old unrestricted free agent is reportedly coveted by the Bucs for a return in 2017. McDougald enjoyed what could be considered a breakout season in 2016, and he's also played in 47 out of a possible 48 games thus far in his career, adding to his appeal. While it's possible that it could come down a decision between McDougald and fellow free-agent safety Chris Conte in terms of a re-signing, it's also certainly conceivable that both could return, given the team's approximate $66 million in available cap space.
The soon-to-be four-year veteran set career highs in tackles, fumble recoveries, and passes defensed, while equaling a high-water mark in interceptions. The University of Kansas product has now upped his tackle numbers in each of his three seasons and also proven highly durable, missing only one out of a possible 48 games to date in his career. McDougald is now an unrestricted free agent after playing the 2016 campaign on a one-year, $2.55 million contract, and it remains to be seen if the secondary-needy Bucs will opt to bring him back into the fold. Rookie Ryan Smith, who logged just one tackle over 14 games while playing mostly on special teams, would presumably get first crack at McDougald's strong safety job if the latter is allowed to go elsewhere.
McDougald was credited with five tackles (all solo), including one for loss, and an interception in Sunday's 14-5 win over the Seahawks.
The strong safety secured the game-sealing pick of Russell Wilson on a pass intended for Tyler Lockett, snaring the throw at the Bucs' two-yard line with 1:36 remaining in the contest. It was McDougald's second interception of the season, equaling his career-high total from 2015. With 62 tackles on the campaign, the fourth-year pro is on pace to surpass the 87 stops he compiled last season.
McDougald continues to rack up tackles, but the Bucs' secondary also continues to bleed yards to opposing air attacks, so the luster of those numbers is somewhat dulled. The fourth-year safety's 48 stops put him on pace for a career-high 96 by season's end.
|P1||8/13/17||@ LAC||8:00 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ OAK||10:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ GB||4:25 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ TEN||4:05 pm|
|5||10/8/17||@ LAR||4:05 pm|
|Bye: Week 6|
|7||10/22/17||@ NYG||4:25 pm|
|10||11/9/17||@ ARI||8:25 pm|
|12||11/26/17||@ SF||4:05 pm|
|14||12/10/17||@ JAC||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ DAL||4:25 pm|
|2013||Kansas City Chiefs||1||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||50||40.0||10||0||1||0||0.0||0||0||7|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||87||67.0||20||0||2||1||0.5||1||0||4|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||91||79.0||12||0||2||32||16.0||32||0||10|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2013||Kansas City Chiefs||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||0||0||1||6||1||0|