The Buccaneers still have some interest in re-signing free-agent safety Bradley McDougald but the last thing they want to do is overpay for a player whose play has been solid but never spectacular.
That’s why the Bucs have been content since the beginning of the signing period to let McDougald discover for himself what his market value is and it seems he may be on the brink of doing that.
After nearly a week on the market, McDougald appears to have finally found himself a suitor as Adam Caplan of ESPN is reporting that the Seahawks intend to meet with McDougald later this week.
It’s still too soon to know if the visit will result in McDougald signing with Seattle, but it’s a good sign for McDougald and the Bucs that someone is showing interest in the fourth-year pro out of Kansas.
The Bucs will likely let Seattle or some other team make an offer to McDougald before they jump in with an offer of their own and if that means they end up losing McDougald, so be it.
Again, the last thing the Bucs want to do is overpay here, so the visit with the Seahawks may get the ball rolling on this matter and allow the Bucs to eventually move on should they so choose.
McDougald is a versatile player but he’s still got a ways to go before he can be considered a top-level starter and the truth of the matter is there just may not be room for him anymore in the Bucs plans.
The Bucs are not necessarily overloaded at the safety spot, where Keith Tandy, Chris Conte and J.J. Wilcox are their top three now, but general manager Jason Licht has stressed the team has a plan it intends to follow.
That plan may include eventually re-signing McDougald, signing someone else in free agency (T.J. McDonald is still out there) or filling the need through the draft.
The safety position is one of the deeper spots in the draft and while the Bucs likely won’t have a shot at Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker, they could be in play for Jabrill Peppers.
Peppers has been bouncing all over mock draft boards because he’s a bit of a hybrid but you get the feeling his versatility is something the Bucs would covet.
The question, of course, is when to move on Peppers. He should be there for the Bucs at No. 19 but that may be too soon for a player who simply won’t fit the scheme for some teams.
That could result in a trade down in the first round or even a trade up during the second. Either way, the way the Bucs have played the McDougald situation suggests a move in a different direction is in the works.