“Best Move”

January 17th, 2018

“Look, Dominik, I’m the rockstar around here.”

Hmm, it seems a widely lauded move by the Seattle Seahawks is part of another bad mark for the Buccaneers’ personnel team.

And this has nothing to do with Michael Bennett.

Remember safety Bradley McDougald? As a 26-year-old, he started every game for Tampa Bay in 2016, and before that, McDougald was a rising, durable star of the Lovie Smith regime, an undrafted holdover from the Schiano-Dominik era.

Well, McDougald wanted to get paid in free agency last season. Bucs general manager Jason Licht didn’t see the value and opted to sign free agent J.J. Wilcox instead. Then Licht traded Wilcox in the summer when he pounced on free agent Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward, who was cast aside by the Broncos.

Ward was a bad fit in the Bucs locker room and on the field, and now he’s facing a Hillsborough County court date for felony marijuana possession.

So what happened to McDougald?

He found his way to Seattle on a one-year deal for $1.8 million plus incentives.

McDougald was a versatile toy this season for Seattle’s sixth-ranked pass defense, playing cornerback and both safety positions. He made nine starts, was the Seahawks’ fourth-leading tackler and kept his three-year ironman streak alive.

Seahawks beat writer Michael-Shawn Dugar wrote that Seattle’s best offseason move likely was signing the former Buccaneer.

The best move may indeed have been signing Bradley McDougald to a one-year deal worth only $1.8 million. With Kam Chancellor’s future uncertain and McDougald proving to be a serviceable replacement, it seems the versatile safety would be top priority for Seattle this offseason.

Hey, maybe the Bucs should look at McDougald in free agency this year?

Joe gets why the Bucs let McDougald walk. They tried to improve. Except they didn’t.

60 Responses to ““Best Move””

  1. BucEmUp Says:

    The same player would come here and play twice as bad

    Fix the coaching fix the teak. FIRE MIKE SMITH!!!!!

  2. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs should have sign Bradley McDougald last season to a long term deal. Then draft a RB,CB,DE in round 2, nothing against Justin Evans.

  3. webster Says:

    As seattle’s beat writer wrote, he was seviceable. Conte is serviceable. The bucs need an upgrade, not serviceable

  4. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Meh he sucked here imo. Probably did better in Seattle because he played on a team with a good pass rush that could get to the QB consistently. What a thought.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Joe gets why the Bucs let McDougald walk. They tried to improve. Except they didn’t.” So the reason they let McDougald walk was because he wasn’t good enough and we wanted someone better? And that’s why Licht signed JJ Wilcox? Because Wilcox was ‘better’ than McDougald? But then Wilcox apparently wasn’t ‘good enough’ for Licht so he traded him & picked up TJ Ward? The same TJ Ward who missed preseason because of injuries & only played in 12 games, starting 5? The same TJ Ward who had 0 sacks, 0 forced fumbles, 0 INTs this season & a total of 30 tackles in 12 games?

    Is there not a trend here? We have a serviceable Safety that we let walk because we’re cheap, then sign a cast-off from another team to replace him for more money than it would’ve taken to keep him. We let Spence walk also, then paid his replacement (Baker) considerably more money than it would’ve taken to keep him. Maybe some bad planning? Bad scouting? Bad decision making? Nah, that’s not it. It’s bad coaching. Where’s Scapegoat Smitty hiding out these days?

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I blew my top when they let Bradley McDougald get away. And most of the people here didn’t care at the time. Almost none of you felt Bradley McDougald was any good.

    So don’t go pretending otherwise now that you were wrong.

  7. upthegut Says:

    I had thought the Jason Licht was an okay GM. Better than average on drafts but subpar (understatement) with free agency. Our 2017 draft produced 4 quality players and I will thrilled, but compare these selections to the Saints and you can see that there were gems for a lot of teams to select.
    Hey Joes any possibility you can do comparisons, with subjective grades of Licht’s
    drafts vs the other teams in our division?

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Pickgrin Says
    May 30th, 2017 at 11:33 am
    “If McDougald was anywhere near as good as Bonzai seems to think – he wouldn’t have been without a job for a month and he would be on a team that needed a starting safety with a multi year contract at triple or more his current salary.”


    While I did make some bold predictions for him, I was right in saying Licht should have kept him around.

  9. unbelievable Says:

    LC you thought he sucked? I thought he played pretty well during the 2016 season to be honest.

  10. Pa Privateer Says:

    You guys have to stop complaining about previous drafts and FA signings or misses. YOU CANNOT GO BACK AND REVERSE THEM.

    We can look to address the needs for 2018+

    I would be happy to sign McDougald to a 3 year FA contract. It is obvious McDougald is pretty good when you have a pas rush.

    Licht will try address the Pass rush needs this offseason in both FA and the 2018 Draft.

    Side Note: if Licht brings in another 4-5 starters from the draft he will be back for 2019.

  11. darin Says:

    Yep. I watched him play in seattle a couple times. He played well. He played ok here but thats a hard thing to do in this “defense” or lack of. Without pressure this d blows. Had one of the highest paid dlines too. Weve seen smith wont adjust, so its sign and draft dline or bye bye. The secondary could be composed of future hall of famers n theyd still suck with no 4 man rush. Any qb in the league can pick apart a zone defense if they have 5 seconds. Weve got plenty of proof on tape. Fire smith please!

  12. LakeLand Says:

    The passing defense stunk this season without Bradley McDougald. They were ranked DEAD LAST in pass defense. Good job on the UPGRADE at FS.

    2017 Tampa Bay Pass Defense
    32nd Ranked
    94.6 Passing Rate

    2016 Tampa Bay Pass Defense
    22nd Ranked
    88.8 Passing Rate

  13. unbelievable Says:

    I will say that when Tandy came in for him later in the season, he was def playing better and deserved to keep the starting job over McDougald.

    Not sure what happened to Tandy in 2017…
    McDougald started alongside Tandy. –Joe

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We simply don’t know all of the facts….and it’s certainly easier to be right afterwards.
    Maybe McDougald simply played better with a different team with different coaches and Ward/Wilcox didn’t…..

    Who would have questioned replacing McDougald with TJ Ward before?….

    That’s what I thought, no one. A GM has hits and misses and they all aren’t obvious mistakes at the time.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    And, I forgot to add that Dominick was a sorry excuse for a GM and didn’t know his a$$ from a hole in the ground……He set us back at least 5 years.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    upthegut Says:
    “…compare these selections to the Saints and you can see that there were gems for a lot of teams to select.”

    The difference is that most years, a team might only get 2-3 starters that stick if they manage it. A couple teams got lucky this year, but usually Licht is pretty solid.

    In 2015, he got 4 good players.
    In 2016, he got 2 good players and 2 undetermined but potentially good players.
    In 2017, he got 4 more good players.

    In three years, he has drafted 9-10 starters. That isn’t bad at all. And it is unavoidable that some players acclimate and develop slower than others, so don’t be surprised if a couple of them suddenly become very good.

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    “Who would have questioned replacing McDougald with TJ Ward before?….

    That’s what I thought, no one.”

    *Raises hand*

    I hated getting rid of McDougald from the beginning, and I was dead set against Ward because I knew him for what he was.

  18. DBS Says:

    So exactly how do they keep signing Pro Bowl players? Which would should be an upgrade to a team. But when the get here they suck or under perform. And this problem has not gone on just under one coach.

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    I thought he deserved a contract…..he continued to get better each year…..gotta remember he was a UDFA…..but WTFDIK…..GO BUCS!!!!

  20. LakeLand Says:

    Actually the Bucs had the best Pass Defense in the NFC South last season. This season they had the worst in the NFC South ( and the worst in the NFL).

  21. LakeLand Says:


    They refuse to re-sign their young starting FS
    They sign Dallas backup FS
    They re-sign Chris Conte
    Then they draft a FS in the 2nd round
    Neglecting more important needs

    The life of a Bottom Feeder

  22. Phil Says:

    Maybe we can get Todd Haley as OC.

  23. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Yeah I thought he sucked lol I will stand my ground on it. At least for whatever system we were running in 2016. He was easily the biggest liability in coverage that season at the S position and it wasn’t close to my eye test – in terms of who gave up the most big plays and made the least big plays. He got burned the most imo.

    @DR I honestly think it had nothing to do with being cheap and everything to do with them not seeing him as a long term solution and wanting to upgrade. It’s not like he balled out in Seattle. He was a serviceable backup basically. No one knew that Ward/Wilcox/Tandy would all be so bad in 2017.

    And again – i’m sure it makes a huge f*cking difference to play in a defense with studs all around you and a front 4 that can get to the QB; than playing in Tampa where QBs can scan the field for days

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    So Kwon is heading to the Pro Bowl…

  25. LakeLand Says:


    Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly decided to skip that sideshow.

  26. 813bucboi Says:


    I hear you…..

    we let go a young versatile safety that we could’ve continued to develop for a veteran back up only to trade that player for an older veteran who’s best years were behind him…..

    but look on the bright side…..we’ll get better….

    we still have the same people in place that made that move and the same coaches in place that have poor clock management among a sh!t load of other things and cant develop cb’s or de’s……GO BUCS!!!!

  27. Robert Says:

    trade JW, D jax and mccoy. their the only ones who would get anything in free agency.

    i.e. their national names, doesn’t mean their worth a darn.

    then rebuild. starting with the trenches.

  28. webster Says:

    @ defense rules

    Licht let mcdougal walk because he wanted more money than he was worth and not because the bucs were cheap. Thats why they signed conte for that low salary because he too is serviceable. Thats why mcdougal only got a 1 year deal for 1.8 mil. HE over valued himself and that is why he is not on this team. Ward on the open market was worth 5 mil when the bucs signed him. Unfortunately, he did not live up to the 5 mil for various reasons. But paying ward 5 mil just blows your notion of licht was being cheap right out of the water. Mcdougal is not worth 4 mil per year period. Serviceable

  29. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Like I’ve said…put Seattle’s talented secondary behind our Dline and TOTAL lack of pass rush and see how often they get abused…and of course the reverse is true….most times…put a decent DB behind a great pass rush and watch how well he plays.

    Fix the freaking pass rush. It should be goal #1.

  30. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Definitely was not high on McDougald and he made a bunch of marcus williamsesque plays last year but he was young and possibly if coaching was better then he may get better but possibly the coaching is terrible and then he is just the same as stated above it seems every DB this year except conte regressed and evans played well despite the coaching so that is on kevin sumlin not tampa bay

  31. LakeLand Says:


    But Will Gholston is worth $7 million for this season or over $ 5 Million a year ofr 5 years?

    The dumb part is the Bucs are always at the top of the NFL in injuries. But they keep re-signing their injury prone players or signing injury prone players as free agents. Bradley McDougald started 37 consecutive games for the Bucs. He also played in 47 consecutive games for the Bucs. He also played in all 16 games for the Seahawks this season.

    If you want a fast ticket out of Tampa, just don’t miss any games.
    If you want a extension, just make IR a regular home

  32. LakeLand Says:

    2017 NFL Passing Defense Stats

    Atlanta | 12th
    New Orleans | 15th
    Carolina 18th | 18th
    Tampa Bay | 32nd

    2016 NFL Passing Defense

    Tampa Bay | 22nd
    Atlanta | 28th
    Carolina | 29th
    New Orleans | 32nd

    This is one of the reasons why the Bucs went from 9-7 to 5-11
    And the Panthers went from 6-10 to 11-5
    And the Saints went from 7-9 to 11-5

  33. webster Says:

    I am not sure how paying gholston 5 mil per year is bad. Top flight ends make over 14 mil per. How is gholston’s 5 mil a bad signing? Mcdougal was serviceable. Nothing more, nothing less.

  34. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I remember Bonzai, but I was in favor of it to protect Ward.
    Most will not be this honest

  35. LakeLand Says:

    Well there is one sure thing

    5-11 isn’t ” serviceable”

  36. LakeLand Says:

    I take that back

    5-11 isn’t ” serviceable” for most NFL teams
    But the Bucs will take it
    And hand out bonuses to the coaching staff

  37. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    February 11th, 2017 at 8:26 am←

    Ideal situation – 4 the Defensive Backfield

    • S-Bradley McDougald
    • S-Jonathan Cyprien
    • CB-Josh Robinson
    • CB – A.J Bouye

    • CB Cameron Suttong
    • S Justin Evans

    Depth Projection
    • LCB – Brent Grimes | Josh Robinson
    • RCB – A.J. Bouye | Cameron Sutton
    • SCB – Vernon Hargreaves | Jude Adjei-Barimah
    • FS -Bradley McDougald | Keith Tandy
    • SS – Jonathan Cyprien | Justin Evans

    With a few guys in the wing – serving as a insurance policy / battling for a roster spot.

    • CB – Ryan Smith
    • CB – Javien Elliott
    • S – Isaiah Johnson

    It’s quite possible Josh Robinson walks – and Ryan Smith takes over his spot at gunner.

    Note:If McDougald bolts – I would go after FA- Barry Church as his replacement. https://www.joebucsfan.com/2017/02/the-safeties/

  38. Bobby M. Says:

    Licht has a history of these bizarre moves….We let talent walk, but then hire guys unproven with our scheme for more money….but then we’re shocked it doesn’t work out as hoped.

    How about Donald Penn? Let him go for the back up from the Bengals….then D. Smith. Penn is better then both those guys combined. Why let a veteran LT go when the plan was to tank for a young QB to groom?

    Or kicker….we had Barth…sent him packing to trade up in the 2nd rd for a kicker that is completely out of the league. Then sign a veteran who then has to be replaced.

    But then we keep Martin and Sweezy….which led to worst play on the line and running game. We make no effort to have a back up plan for TWO DEs coming off surgeries….So we end up running a 3-4 with no personnel to really do so.

    Licht is just throwing crap against the wall hoping someone buys it as fertilizer. There’s more to the GM position then evaluating talent….He’s a glorified scout but god awful GM when it comes to building the roster.

  39. Hodad Says:

    Why did they let Mike Bennett walk, why D. Penn? Why, why, why. Maybe VH3 isn’t a bust. Maybe the coaching staff sucks, and Licht is a poor evaluater of talent. Why indeed.

  40. LakeLand Says:


    If they wanted to draft a Safety so bad
    They should have drafted one in 2016

    These are some names available after the Aguayo pick

    Vonn Bell
    Kevin Byard
    Darian Thompson
    Justin Simmons
    Miles Kilebrew

  41. unbelievable Says:

    ah Joe, you’re right.

    I forgot Tandy replaced Conte when he got injured. It was right after Conte started playing better too…

    Guess I blocked out some of the 2016 season while trying to block out 2017, lol.

  42. unbelievable Says:


    I was positive we were taking Vonn Bell. When they called Agauyo’s name I wanted to puke.

  43. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    We’re alway a day late & a dollar short brotha.

    Such is a BucsLife

  44. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    We’re always a day late & a dollar short brotha.

  45. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    If go back to the draftboard – mine was Yannick Ngakoue.
    He was the only dude – I seen put them paws on All-Pro RT Jack Conklin in college.

    But hey …he’s the GM.

  46. JonBuc Says:

    The “best move” the Seahawks made the year prior was not re-signing damaged goods JR Sweezey…as a fellow 1976 expansion team…they haven’t been very neighborly.

  47. Pickgrin Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    January 17th, 2018 at 12:45 pm
    Pickgrin Says
    May 30th, 2017 at 11:33 am
    “If McDougald was anywhere near as good as Bonzai seems to think – he wouldn’t have been without a job for a month and he would be on a team that needed a starting safety with a multi year contract at triple or more his current salary.”


    While I did make some bold predictions for him, I was right in saying Licht should have kept him around.

    Those points are as valid now as they were last May Bonzai.

    Just because McDougald played for the Seahwks in relief of injured starters – and did OK for a few games with good defensive players all around him – doesn’t mean he was or is “starter” material in this league. Or that the Bucs should have kept him and paid the exorbitant price Bradley likely was asking for prior to the start of free agency.

    McDougald probably listened to his agent or whoever told him he was worth $5+M per year or whatever and also deserved a multi-year deal at that rate. McDougald obviously believed that and held his ground in negotiations with the Bucs. To which Licht replied – “Um – OK – We have 3 years of tape that says you are worth about $2-$2.5M per year maximum – we’ll just have to move on since you insist you are worth substantially more. So good luck with those salary expectations…”

    The facts are that McDougald was free to sign with any team – went almost 5 weeks without a deal – then signed a $1.8M 1 YEAR deal because that was likely the best (perhaps only) offer he received. So the Bucs were not negligent in letting McDougald go – no other NFL team thought he was worth more than marginal back-up $ either.

  48. Aaron Says:

    That’s what I’m worried about…

    We thought we solved our O-line issues. (Nope)

    We thought we solved our D-line issues (Nope)

    We thought we were fine at RB (Nope – Seems like 15 rookie running backs helped their team this year, but the 1 we draft can’t even make the team)

    Improve our Secondary (Nope)

    Improve our Kicking game (Nope)

    Our player evaluation process sucks or we can’t coach them up?

  49. mike10 Says:

    Another garbage personnel move during a forgettable offseason.

    If 2018 goes poorly, Licht better get canned! He sucks..

  50. JimmyJack Says:

    I kinda liked McDougal and thought he had some chance to develop. But let’s get real for a second and realize he wouldn’t have made much of an impact on this team. But let’s get real for another second and realize he would have done better then TJ(what is my assignment?) Ward

  51. Ed Says:

    I’m in agreement with previous line about injuries, sure some of the knee injuries and back injuries are not a result of conditioning but some of those injuries like Spence and McCoy get with shoulders and biceps injuries seems to me like the conditioning isn’t there. If I go back in time the Bucs under Dungy and even Gruden didn’t have these nagging injuries. Even the older guys played in more games. This team is simply very soft and especially their defensive and offensive linemen, they really need to re-evaluate what kind of players they sign and draft to play on the line because they are always getting hurt.

  52. unbelievable Says:


    Would have loved to get him as well! I just really thought they were going safety with that pick, and Bell seemed like the obvious choice.

    Oh well, what’s done is done. At least we got some real good talent from this past draft (Howard, Godwin, Evans, Beckwith)

  53. TonyC Says:

    Thinking about the moves that this team makes is like caring for the most resistant Alzheimer’s patient imaginable.

  54. Rod Munch Says:

    I actually remember making the point that the Bucs needed to keep McDougald, at least for the salary he was going get, that he still had room to improve and seemed to play better the more played and Joe commented here to me that he was what he was and wasn’t getting any better and if he was any good the team would keep him…

    Out of the two safeties we had, McDougald and Conte, it wasn’t McDougald that constantly stuck out on tape for getting burned or drawing PIs, etc – and it certainly wasn’t Conte that I wanted coming back.

    Just sayin.

  55. USFBUC Says:

    Guys our defense has sucked for years so keeping McDougald wasn’t going to turn the ship around. As others pointed out everyone thought Ward would have been better than anything we had at S but it went wrong.

  56. Jarod Lauderdale Says:

    Joe’s , where are my posts going wtf ?

  57. Rod Munch Says:

    This idea that because a defense isn’t any good you replace everyone is just moronic. Do the Lions cut Barry Sanders because they go 6-10? Do the Dolphins get rid of Dan Marino because they don’t win the Super Bowl? Get real kiddos – the idea that you clean house every single year because something didn’t go well that year is some really low IQ logic talk.

    McDougald wasn’t a problem – and no one was saying he was the solution, but he was a still fairly young and very affordable guy and at worse was very good depth. Also no one knew Ward was going to suddenly and unexpectedly be cut, and yes most people thought Ward was a good signing and it didn’t work out – but the two transactions are literally completely unrelated. The Bucs signed JJ Wilcox to be a starting S, and he was a bust that got traded to the Steelers. The Bucs again choose the wrong guy – which is a common issue with FA’s – and it happens year after year.

  58. teacherman777 Says:


    Nice bro!

    You were on to something!

  59. Destinjohnny Says:

    We can’t build a TEAM with the personel dept we have now.
    Now we will draft an okay player here and there
    But a team???? There is a track record now.
    Do u see it changing?

  60. Issic Haggins Says:

    C Conte had a great year running around covering for the poor corner play . People bashing Conte haven’t a clue ,he had many many big big plays this year and his stats are better than Mcdougal s and and and his three forced fumbles say allot about his hitting and awareness . Short of L David and Grimes he probably had the most big plays on the D .

    Laugh as you may for what he was asked to do , at times Conte played Great !!! Yes that’s right Conte at times played great and his stats show it