Ex-Buccaneer: Gholston, McDougald Top In-House Keepers

February 22nd, 2017

Critical cog?

So what defines a “core” Buccaneer?

There are lots of ways to answer that question, but Joe will offer one definition: the core player should at least be a full-time player who is the team’s best at his position.

Free-agent-to-be safety Bradley McDougald fits neatly into that mold. Joe has argued that case with Ira Kaufman on his award-winning podcast.

McDougald is the Bucs’ best safety. He’s 26 years old and has overachieved since former Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik claimed him off waivers as an undrafted rookie in 2013.

The Bucs are in no position to let McDougald walk. He stays healthy and he’s a decent starter. You don’t dump your top safety for no good reason.

Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht, who analyzes the team for Buccaneers.com and the Buccaneers Radio Network, named McDougald and Will Gholston first when asked what Tampa Bay unrestricted free agents were critical to bring back. Becht was hit with the question on WDAE-AM 620.

He speculated that Gholston would find suitors in free agency and said McDougald is guy you want around considering the other safeties on the roster.

Becht also named Jacquizz Rodgers, Russell Shepard and Josh Robinson as “important pieces,” among the Bucs’ 17 total unrestricted free agents.

He said the Bucs have the available cash, so they might as well bring back those five guys.

Joe likes Gholston, but he is a part-time player. Joe will say this. If the Bucs cough up significant cash for Gholston, say, $6.5 million per year, they shouldn’t force him into a full-time role just because his salary is that of a starter. That’s a loser mentality and approach, one employed by second-rate franchises repeatedly.

38 Responses to “Ex-Buccaneer: Gholston, McDougald Top In-House Keepers”

  1. Joeypoppems Says:

    I totally agree that Gholston and McDougald are the 2 most important to bring back. Then I would say Quizz and Shep are the next 2. Josh Robinson I’m torn on. We should keep him at the right price. He was a great Gunner on ount coverage, but so was Ryan Smith. If we keep Shep and add other WRs, Shep can go back to being a Gunner opposite Ryan Smith if we lose Robinson.

  2. Bucsfanman Says:

    To me, McDougald is a no-brainer. Gholston I’m not so sure about. What would be the point of throwing a bunch of cash at him? Depth? We debate all the time about contributions from players (GMC comes to mind). Is Gholston a “game-changer”? He’s not even a full-time player and he’s had every chance to be.

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    I think that we’ve become gun-shy when it pertains to DEs. Gholston is no Michael Bennett!

  4. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Bradley McDougald and Josh Robinson should be keepers. We need Josh, he’s the fastest Buc player by far. We need to get more speed on this team. The others, it depends on how much they are asking. I wouldn’t pay Will Gholston starter’s pay, not for 3 sacks a year. It don’t matter how good he is against the run. We need Edge Rushers to give us Sacks and QB pressures.

  5. DB55 Says:

    Man just cut Conte, Jude and Verner then let the rest compete. Re-sign everyone else and finish building that practice facility.

    WHERES THE URGENCY?!?!?!?!?!?

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    @DB55- I thought Conte was a FA?
    I can’t say that I disagree although we’d be awfully thin at DB.

  7. DB55 Says:

    FTS get them all the heck outta here.

  8. martinii Says:

    Agree on Gholston and Mc Dougald. Our DL with the exception of McCoy is pretty much rotational. Smith is constantly substituting players based on down and distance. We need 8-9 good DL to rotate depending on situation and to compensate for injuries and heat late in the game. Will Gholston should be part of that rotation.

  9. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Let Macdougal walk he is a practice squad player that got lucky the bucs sucked, its time for an upgrade at Safety, if he wants to play ST for league minimum so be it, but licht go do your job you screwed up last year and get some NFL safeties….macdougal and conte were the same slugs running around when carr set an NFL record and matt ryan lit up the scoreboard…go get cyrprien and matt elam or addae he is from the area and is a pretty good safety out in SD or fire a chunk of change at eric berry, but let macdougal and conte try the open market

  10. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    @DB55 someone in the press has to ask how the University of Florida built an indoor practice facility in 6 months last year and its up and fully functional and yet the bucs have yet to break ground?!!! and def sign ghoulston

  11. DB55 Says:


    A bunch Of slackers

  12. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Make Tampa an attractive place for FAs to come and stay and help build the team into a consistent winner and championship team, so we the fans are not begging for solid safeties or a WR corps that would have hard time starting for Armwood HS let alone an NFL team

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Dusthty- You can’t just keep flipping the roster. There are limitations to roster change. You have to replace those players with other qualified FAs or picks. Considering the fact that we are extremely thin in terms of skill already, keeping McDougald would allow the Bucs to shore up other bigger needs like WR. I’m pretty sure Conte is a FA.
    Don’t forget, we’re 2 seasons, 2, from that horrific 6-10 Lovie-led season.
    Yea, get that facility done. Maybe it’s because it’s tax-payer dollars that it’s taking so long! Um, hello Glazers!

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I agree about McDougald. Not so much about Gholston. The best Gholston will ever be is depth unless surrounded by big players.

  15. Pickgrin Says:


    Proclaiming McDougald as “the Bucs best safety” is just another one of the Joe’s silly takes.

    Yes – resign McDougald and let him compete. Then go solve your “meh” Safety problem by drafting Budda Baker in the 2nd round!

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    Not for nothing Pickgrin, he was the most consistent. And if you’re indicating that Tandy is better than both of those, what are you basing it on? He’s played well in 6 games in a 4 year stint with the Bucs. I’d be more comfortable with McD than with Tandy.

  17. bucs_365 Says:

    So if McDougald is, as Joe just said, an average starter and he’s the best we’ve got, how again is it that safety isn’t a big need? I still haven’t figured out Joe’s logic, especially when he identified CB as a need, though CB is almost certainly a much deeper position in the club at this time.

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Tandy balled out when he got the opportunity. Granted it was a small sample size – but for the last 6 games Tandy was playing at a Pro Bowl level and looked very “consistent”. McDougald does make some plays here and there – but is far from consistent. We’ve watched him get 3 years of starters playing time and his “progress” has been less than spectacular. He has made progress but he’s certainly never going to become a top 10 safety in this League. We NEED one of those.

    Like I said – sign and bring back both Conte and McDougald if you want and let everyone compete – but Licht needs to solve this lack of high end talent problem at the Safety position. And this is the year to do it. Bunch of good safetys coming out of College this year.

    Go get Budda Baker JL.

  19. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Pickgrin- Yeah, I guess “consistent” in this case would be relative. You’re right though, we need better production from that position. There’s not a lot of talk about Jabril Peppers. What are your thoughts?

  20. bucs_365 Says:

    I’m in favor of re-signing McDougald. If he’s any good, we should give him at least a 2 year deal. I’m not in favor of Conte. Let’s move on.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    According to Bucky Brooks, “Peppers is a swiss-army knife defender that can play multiple positions as well as returner.” He compared him to Eric Weddle.

  22. Miko Says:

    The team becomes dowgraded, pre-draft, if ALL these guys don’t stay >> Conte, Gholston, Hawley, McDougald, Jacquizz Rodgers, Shepard, Daryl Smith, Akeem Spence, Jacquies Smith

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    Budda is seen as “an undersized safety with a LB mentality” and is compared to Bob Sanders.

  24. LongSeason Says:

    Of the exclusive rights free agents top priority for me is Cam Brate. Next would be Adam Humphries. Humphries is a good contributor, solid but not spectacular.

  25. Pickgrin Says:

    Adams from LSU and Hooker from Ohio State are the cream of the crop. If either fell to us at 19 it would practically be a miracle though.

    Peppers can be a player in the NFL – but many are starting to say he may be better suited for LB than Safety. His weight though is way below what even small LBers weigh – so he’s a “tweener”. Certainly not worthy of a 1st round grade like most seem to give him IMO. Coverage skills are questionable.

    I like Budda Baker in the 2nd because I think he’s gonna be a very good Safety in the NFL. Good value for a lot of talent. His closing speed on ball carriers is SICK and his tackling, coverage skills and athleticism are all very solid and very evident on tape.

    Look at the speed this guy demonstrates on his highlights

  26. Bucsfanman Says:

    Wow! He’s quick! Good tape.

  27. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I believe Budda Baker secondary mate…Kevin King can play FS in the NFL..He played FS, during his first 2 seasons with the Huskies. Then after Marcus Peters was booted from the team he went to CB. He still played good as a 6’3 CB, him and Sidney Jones was a good combination. I think the three of them are good and teams will be lucky to draft them. Sidney Jones, Budda Baker, Kevin King will be good NFL players.

  28. StPeteBucsfan Says:

    I’m with you Joe sign McDougald. People have been blasting the RB position this blog for months now….it’s all the OL and not the RB that determines the running game…NO RB’s go in the first round…despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    Or the other argument…there are so many talented RB’s in this year’s draft that we can always get one later on. The same could be said of safety.

    But one thing that is undeniable is that safety is the lowest paid position of all the starting positions on the team. Everybody would like the best players possible at EVERY position. But the league has made it very clear that safety is not as critical as the other spots…McDougald played far better than the “Muscle Turtle”…better than other positions on this team. Is it possible to find a better safety if we made it a top priority…certainly but name another position that is not also true…QB…#1 WR…Punter…MLB…I’m running out of positions…we COULD upgrade all across the board but reality bites. We have only so much for FA’s and seven draft picks. We simply cannot upgrade every position to AllPro.
    Fortunately neither can the other teams.

    Safety is not a top priority in the league if you follow the $$$…much less on our team…our D and the safeties closed the season on a high note!!! Our RB’s and #2 receivers not sooo much and we could have done better with a blocking sled at RT….we better address the RT position if Benenoch is not the answer. RT could come in FA or later rounds in the draft though. Give me an RB or WR immediately please.

  29. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Budda Baker is one of the “fast rising” prospects this year. He will be a 1st round pick. And possibly gone b4 we pick @ 19. He won’t be there in the 2nd. Also check out Fish Smithson S from Kansas, he’s a ball hawk and will be there in the later rounds.

  30. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    @ st Pete
    I love the rt out of USC he is massive ( like 6’9 400 lbs) I forget his name but I saw him in the senior bowl and he was stone walking some guys. He is also a later round pick. If we could get him and slim him down a bit he could be a monster

  31. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Walling ^^^^(stupid autocorrect)

  32. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Just looked him up. His name is Zach Banner and his dad was the RT for the raiders in our super bowl. Lol would that be full circle if he played for us?

  33. LakeLandBuc Says:

    As I have said numerous times before…there are a lot of good, solid football players in this draft..Players that can come in and make an instant impact. We should get 2-3 starters and 2- 3 more key players from this draft and UDFA.

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Well said, St Pete

  35. OneBuc55 Says:

    Gholston, McDougal, Shepherd, and Robinson for sure…

  36. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Thank God you don’t run the Bucs lol

  37. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Will Gholston 14 games 49 tackles,1 forced fumble,1 fumble recovery,3 sacks,37 solo tackles,9 for a loss! I would resign him big time we drafted him and he’s going into his prime he’s going to a beast!don’t let anther great player go PLEASE

  38. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Buccaneer Scott

    But our full-time starting 3-tech had 34 total tackles, 25 solo, 6.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles in 15 games played. They say he’s the best and he’s in disposable. They say he’s a pro bowler and this defense would suck without him.

    You’re telling me that our part time DE that supposedly isn’t worth keeping has better stats across the board other than sacks with one less game played? What gives?

    Gholston is a better player than Robert Ayers, hands down. He’s worth every penny of $6.5 million if that’s what he gets anually. He’s 25 years old and has gotten better every year.