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Another Bradley McDougald appreciation post

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Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Let’s take a moment to recognize the contributions of Bradley McDougald.

Undrafted out of Kansas in 2013, McDougald has risen the ranks to go from signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, getting cut, hanging on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, starting 36 games over three years, not being retained by the Bucs, barely getting notice on the free agent market, signing a one-year deal to definitely be a backup on the Seattle Seahawks — to now being one of the best strong safeties in the league so far in 2018. And it started last year when McDougald took over for Kam Chancellor in in the team’s seventh game of the season.

in his 13 starts with the Seahawks so far, McDougald has 81 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, has had up to nine pass breakups, including one leading to an interception, and at least two tackles for a loss. FootballOutsiders has a metric called Defeats, and McDougald leads all safeties in those so far this season.

McDougald is doing this now on a three-year, $13.5 million contract, which doesn’t even make him one of the 30 highest-paid safeties in the league. Unless Seattle wants to reward him in 2019 for his over-the-top efforts (assuming this continues), and that’s not likely, then the Seahawks will have one of the absolute best bargains in the league. As of now, they already do.

Without Earl Thomas, they’ll need him even more.