Bucs bring back Jacquies Smith, McDougald for 2016
The last of the procedural transactions is out of the way for the Bucs, who announced Wednesday morning that they've tendered contracts to two restricted free agents -- S Bradley McDougald and WR Russell Shepard -- and three exclusive-rights free agents in DE Jacquies Smith, LS Andrew DePaola and LB Jeremiah George.
That also confirms what's already been reported, that LB Danny Lansanah, FB Jorvorskie Lane and DE Olatunji Fatinikun were not tendered, so they become unrestricted free agents, giving the Bucs 12 in all from last season's team. Shepard, DePaola and George's tenders were previously reported.
Smith, who turns 26 next week, has been the Bucs' most productive defensive end for the last two seasons, totaling 13.5 sacks since he was claimed off waivers one week into the 2014 season. Smith is eligible for a contract extension, but all the Bucs had to do to keep him for 2016 was offer him the league minimum. He'll be restricted free agent next spring and a strong candidate for an extension or higher tender.
McDougald, 25, started 15 games at safety for the Bucs in 2015, totaling 87 tackles with two interceptions. It's unclear how much change the Bucs will make with a new defensive coordinator and assistants, but McDougald is an inexpensive option -- while it's unknown which tender he was given by the Bucs, it likely was the low tender of $1.6-million, giving the Bucs the right of first refusal if any other team were to give him an offer sheet on a longterm contract.