Safety Bradley McDougald has not been signed by any team after three weeks of 2017 NFL free agency. That’s a bit of a surprise, given that he’s had some solid play over the past two years and the Bucs had at least some interest in bringing him back.
That’s not to say that McDougald hasn’t drawn any interest. He’s had a visit with the Seattle Seahawks, and recently visited the Cleveland Browns, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. But apparently his asking price is too high, or he’s just really off-putting on his visits. Maybe he doesn’t take off his hat inside, or something.
That doesn’t mean McDougald is set to come back to Tampa, though. In fact, don’t expect him to come back at all: the team re-signed Chris Conte and added J.J. Wilcox. They probably want to add another safety in the draft, which is thankfully very deep and high-quality at that position, and that leaves little room for McDougald — who really isn’t that different from Wilcox, anyway.
The fact that McDougald hasn’t been signed to a contract elsewhere is also bad news for the Bucs in another way: it drastically reduces the team’s odds of receiving a compensatory pick next year.
Compensatory picks are handed out on the basis of net free agency losses. Which means they require you to lose more unrestricted free agents than you sign. So far, the Bucs have signed wide receiver DeSean Jackson, safety J.J. Wilcox and defensive tackle Chris Baker, and lost wide receiver Russell Shepard, defensive tackle Akeem Spence and quarterback Mike Glennon.
That leaves the Bucs with no net loss right now, and thus no compensatory pick. If McDougald or Vincent Jackson signs elsewhere before probably the second week after the draft (per Over The Cap’s estimate), the Bucs could get as much as a third-round pick for Glennon, depending on how DeSean Jackson’s contract is valued.
So, hopefully McDougald finds some team willing to sign him. And hopefully he finds that team quickly.