NY Jets: Bradley McDougald unlikely to return this season

NY Jets, Bradley McDougald (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Bradley McDougald (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

NY Jets’ safety Bradley McDougald is reportedly unlikely to return this season.

When the NY Jets decided to ship superstar safety Jamal Adams to Seattle in the offseason, the haul they received in return was near-universally praised. But one overlooked aspect of the haul was veteran safety Bradley McDougald.

While the bulk of the attention was understandably on the two first-round picks the Jets received for Adams, McDougald was brought in to be the All-Pro’s replacement on defense.

There was some optimism that McDougald could take over for Adams and fill in admirably. But it’s safe to say that his tenure in New York won’t exactly be remembered fondly.

And at least according to one report, it seems as though his brief stay in Florham Park might already be over.

ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported on Monday that McDougald “appears unlikely” to return after being placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury earlier in the year.

And given that his contract is due to expire at the end of the season, it seems unlikely that he plays another game with the Jets.

McDougald started the first seven games of the season primarily filling in for Adams at strong safety. In those seven games, he totaled 36 tackles, three pass deflections, and a fumble recovery, but his play was subpar, to say the least.

The 30-year-old defensive back received an atrocious 41.0 Pro Football Focus grade which ranked him 88th out of just 91 qualified safeties. He struggled mightily both in run defense and pass coverage not ranking higher than 81st in either category, per PFF.

Simply put, he wasn’t even backup-caliber — not even close, in actuality.

Rookie Ashtyn Davis has filled in for McDougald and while he too has had his own struggles, he’s been a noticeable improvement over his veteran teammate. Davis has a 56.1 PFF grade that ranks 70th at his position but his 74.1 run defense grade is well above-average.

Either way, the Jets hope that Davis can develop into a long-term starter on defense whereas McDougald was always a longshot to return next season anyway.

The Jets will truly capitalize on the Jamal Adams trade with their draft capital over the next two years. As for McDougald, he’ll likely become a forgotten piece of the potentially franchise-altering trade.

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Although, that was always likely to be the case.