With free agency most fans get excited about the newest faces that will join their team for the upcoming season. But it is also about keeping some familiar faces around.
The Bucs took the first step in doing just that with safety Bradley McDougald, tendering him an offer that should keep him part of the Bucs secondary through 2016. McDougald was tendered a one-year contract worth $2.553 million and comes with a second-round designation. That means that another team would have to forfeit a second-round pick to sign McDougald away from the Bucs this offseason.
McDougald’s journey to Tampa Bay began after joining the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Tampa Bay claimed McDougald off of waivers, and the former Kansas Jayhawk backed up Mark Barron in the secondary but didn’t record any stats.
Following the trade of Barron to the Rams, Mcdougald was part of the safety rotation, and he recorded 50 tackles and an interception in a reserve role.
The team had high expectations for McDougald in 2015, but he, like most of the defense didn’t play as well as expected. McDougald finished 2015 with 87 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions, including the game-clinching turnover against Dallas late in the fourth quarter.
Last week the Bucs tendered ERFA (exclusive rights free agent) linebacker Jeremiah George. As an ERFA the Bucs can’t lose him to another team and his 2016 salary is set at $600,000. As PewterReport.com reported earlier this week, the Bucs are not expected to tender linebacker Danny Lansanah who turns 31 in August.
Two more players also will return to Tampa Bay as the Bucs tendered Andrew DePaola (6-2, 230). The Bucs long snapper has spent the last two seasons with Tampa Bay (2014-15), playing in all 32 contests, registering eight special teams tackles.
And the Bucs second-leading sacker Jacquies Smith also received his ERFA tender on Wednesday. Smith came to the Buccaneers after being claimed off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills in 2014. During the past two seasons with Tampa Bay (2014-15), Smith has started 18-of-27 contests, totaling 39 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries (one for touchdown) and three passes defensed. Smith’s 7.0 sacks last season ranked second on the team.
– Part of this report courtesy of the Buccaneers PR Department
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com