Waving Goodbye To Restricted Free Agents

February 17th, 2016
Danny Lansanah might backflip out of town.

Danny Lansanah might backflip out of town.

Decisions loom for Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter.

Among the large crop of Bucs with uncertain futures are four restricted free agents.

To keep these guys, the Bucs would have throw down a “tender” offer and wait and see if the NFL market comes calling to match or exceed what’s on the table.

Rarely does another team make a play for a restricted free agent, but the Bucs did just that last year demanding that George Johnson come and be there starting defensive end. Johnson ended the season sackless.

Here’s Joe’s quick look at the Bucs’ restricted free agents.

Linebacker Danny Lansanah – His play fell off a notch in 2015, after being one of the few Bucs defensive standouts during the lost 2014 season. Lansanah has a great personal story, and he’ll be playing NFL football in 2016. But Joe isn’t sure it’s in Tampa. Lansanah turns 31 in August, and the Bucs likely can do better. Lansanah, though, certainly could be valuable depth.

Safety Bradley McDougald – Like Lansanah, McDougald is an overachiever from the Dominik-Schiano regime. Considering he likely was the best Bucs safety last season, and actually shut down Panthers tight end Greg Olson in October, Joe would like to see McDougald return. Joe is not big on tossing aside 25-year-olds that have shown ability. Plus, there are darn good odds that McDougald will get significantly better position coaching this season.

Fullback Jorvorskie Lane – Coming off a gruesome foot-leg injury in the season finale likely kills all hope for Lane. Joe would love to see Mike Tolbert land in Tampa.

WR/Special Teams Ace Russell Shepard – Top tier special teams player, bottom tier receiver. At 25 years old, Shepard is likely to stick around for one more season.

17 Responses to “Waving Goodbye To Restricted Free Agents”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Agree with all of Joe’s assessments……especially Shepard & McDougald….

  2. Joe Says:


    Honestly, during the season, Joe has to check Shepard’s locker whenever Joe reads his name. The dude may be the most invisible Bucs player he has ever encountered. People always talk about him, but put a gun to Joe’s head and he can’t remember a play he’s made. More of a ghost than Ghost Johnson.

    When Donteea Dye is higher than you on the depth chart, there’s really not much more to say.

  3. DoNUTS Says:

    Special Teams Ace Russell Shepard <<< Really? Ace?? We can do better than this Ace. He was pulled from the Eagles post-cuts scrap heap if that is any indicator. 7 receptions since 2013…time to move on. Garbage!

    Lane…Love this guy but he is hurt too often. Tolbert would be better option but not sure he will come here from a SB team just to reunite with Koetter.

    McDougald needs another year…I see some promise too.

    Lansanah CUT! 31 and didnt improve in '15.

  4. biff barker Says:

    Keep McDougald.

    Every other position can be upgraded.

    if one is out there, draft or FA, I’d also look to move Qwan over and bring in a heavier MLB. Sure he was a natural fit with Lovie’s scheme but I’d bring a run stopper and use the outside LB’s to blitz more.

    Mario Williams or Vernon Davis please in addition to drafting a speed rusher in the early going.

    A better cover scheme, (not hard after the last two seasons, and schematic changes could make a world of difference in dialing up pressure.

    Just me.

  5. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Joe
    I don’t suppose you’d want to put together an unrestricted Buccaneer free agent list for us to discuss? A who should stay and who should walk piece?

  6. Joe Says:


    I don’t suppose you’d want to put together an unrestricted Buccaneer free agent list for us to discuss?

    Kinda think this post is what you are looking for.

  7. Rrsrq Says:

    Kenny Bell (the unknown) was a gunner in college, they will likely look at his upside at both ST and receiver, if he shows up, not sure Shepard remains

  8. Espo Says:

    Shepherd is absolutely a special teams ace. That sort of unsung contribution is invaluable. How often would a player in his role be voted a captain?

  9. godzilla13 Says:

    Chris Conte was our best Safety. He was better in coverage and stopping the run. Bradley McDougald had seven more tackles than Conte but also played in two more games. Conte also had more forced fumbles and passes defended. On not being big on tossing aside 25-year-olds that have shown ability, the same applies for Conte who is 26. Yes, McDougald played well in the first Panther game against Greg Olsen (targeted 6 times with 2 receptions) but does anyone remember the Redskin game and Jordon Reed (targeted 13 times with 11 receptions)? IMO Keith Tandy showed more promise in the last two games more than any other Safety. I would re-sign Keith Tandy and Chris Conte. Let go of Bradley McDougald and Major Wright. Draft a Safety in round 2 or 3. Sign SS Walter Thurmond, Eagles.

  10. Trubucfan22 Says:

    We had a rookie kicker and rookie Punter. Shepard didn’t earn the captain label. He was a default winner.

    I say resign them all. Restricted guys of their caliber don’t make a lot. tender them and eventually re sign them. At least until we replace them.

    if we decide to keep Bruce Carter, he would need to be a starter. Move him to Sam backer and let lansanah be the back up to David and carter.

    Mcdougald should compete for a starting spot. He is currently the best S on the team.

    I’m guessing lane will not be healthy to start the year. But the Bucs could sign him mid season if he gets back in shape.

    Shepard is useless. On offense, but he is a decent gunner on punts. Put a low tender on him and have him battle for his roster spot in TC.

  11. Mike Johnson Says:

    Lets see if Kenny Bell can get and stay healthy. If not show him and Shepard the door. Bell looked cheerful carrying that clipboard on the sidelines. maybe the Bucs can hire him as a..stat man. I do think the new DC will cut at least 3 or 4 guys early to send a message. NEXT!!!

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    McDougald and Lansanah have both show the ability to make plays. Neither lived up to their promise last year – but what players outside of LVD and Kwon did in Lovie’s 2015 defense?

    Resign both as well as Shepard and let things play out in training camp and pre season.

    As far as Shepard goes – the quality of our receiving group will determine whether he stays or goes. If 5 other receivers are obviously better than Russell in the passing game – then keeping an excellent special teams gunner who is not really an NFL caliber receiver becomes a luxury that is hard to afford.

    I agree that Conte and Tandy showed the most promise at Safety last year. For all the hype about what an “up and comer” that McDougald supposedly was – I didn’t see much to support that on the field last year. I would let Wright go, keep Conte, Tandy and McDougald and hope that better coaching will improve their on field capabilities in 2016.

    On top of that, sign the best FA safety that will come here and draft a safety somewhere in the 1st 5 rounds.

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    If the price is right, sign them all. We need depth. If you HAVE to keep somebody from this group, I would sign McDougald.
    Still, having depth is important.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong…if another team signs them, we get draft picks, right?

    If so, I hope they all go.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I agree Conte should remain.

  16. bucs4life86 Says:

    McDougald would be the only guy I bring back, and maybe Sheppard cause of his ST skills. I say let Bruce Carter fill in for lansanah. Cater showed he can last season when given the opportunity. The other guys are replaceable. Tolbert @ FB would be nice. We haven’t had a versatile FB that could Catch and run in a long time.

  17. bucs4life86 Says:

    Conte would be a decent back up I guess. We def. Need 2 get a starter from the draft or FA. The guy from the Bengals wouldn’t be a bad choice. Weddle sounds nice but he’s @ the end of his career. And there’s no way E.Berrys hitting FA so some fans can forget about that. Mcdougald has flashed his talent but is not consistent enough to be a starter right now. He’s only 25 I believe, so he’s worth keeping around as a backup and letting him progress as a player.