Cleveland still has more than $61MM in cap space and houses inexperience at safety. An Ohio native, McDougald made a career-high 91 tackles last season and matched his career best with two interceptions while a member of the Buccaneers.
The 26-year-old safety has been a full-time starter since the 2015 season for the Bucs despite arriving in Tampa as a UDFA in 2013. Cleveland has a host of younger safeties on its roster but no one as seasoned as McDougald, a Kansas University product. The Browns have former Eagles fifth-rounder Ed Reynolds, Browns 2015 fourth-rounder Ibraheim Campbell and 2016 Browns fourth-rounder Derrick Kindred as current safeties rostered. Pro Football Focus graded Reynolds as a top-50 safety but placed Campbell and Kindred as two of his worst back-line defenders in 2016. McDougald graded as the site’s No. 42 safety.
He would be a bigger addition for the Browns than the Seahawks due to this, and Cleveland certainly has the cap room to offer the fifth-year safety a better deal.
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