While once again not giving a definitive answer on the future of Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, reading between the lines of general manager Jason Licht’s press conference on Tuesday is making it more and more clear that McCoy’s time in Tampa Bay is nearing an end.

On Tuesday Licht’s vagueness continued.

When asked whether the Bucs have attempted to trade McCoy this offseason, Licht said: “I talked about Gerald at the combine, I talked about him and answered questions about him at the owner’s meetings, and there really hasn’t been any developments. I mean, Gerald’s on our football team, so, I was going to hopefully keep this to pre-draft questions.”

Bucs GM Jason Licht
Bucs GM Jason Licht – Photo by: PewterReport.com

Licht was then asked if trading McCoy is a possibility.

“That’s a hypothetical. Right now we’re focused on the draft.”

Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud asked Licht why Bruce Arians asked McCoy to stay away from the voluntary workouts and Licht told the media that we would have to asked Arians about that.

Of course Arians won’t be made available to speak with the media until next week at Tampa Bay’s pre-draft mini-camp.

During the league meetings in Phoenix last month, Arians said he still wanted to evaluate McCoy before a final decision is made. McCoy hasn’t attended any of the team’s voluntary workouts so far this offseason and Licht was asked about that as well on Tuesday.

“There are other ways to evaluate a player,” Licht said. “Gerald’s not here but there are plenty of players around the league who aren’t at this voluntary part of the offseason. But Gerald is the last person that I’d worry about. He’s a consummate pro, he’s always been one, he’s always worked very hard.”

While no none wants to come out and say it officially, but keeping McCoy and his $13 million salary makes little sense for a franchise who doesn’t even have enough money to sign its draft picks.

The McCoy situation is another clear example of the NFL being a business, and once a player’s salary outweighs their performance the player moves on. It certainly seems the Bucs have reached that point with their 31-year old defensive tackle that recorded six sacks over the past two years and is set to make $13 million in 2019.

And with a deep, talented draft at defensive tackle on the horizon beginning April 25, the Bucs could find McCoy’s replacement in a matter of days.

 

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

17 COMMENTS

  1. Come on guys, saying Licht addresses McCoys Future with a picture of McCoy waiving goodbye with a sad look on his face? You can do better than click bait… Were gonna read a new story no matter what… The title should have been “Licht continues to evade addressing McCoys future”

    Way too calculated…

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  2. Key message in this story – Licht says absolutely nothing on McCoy, says talk to Bruce Arians which will occur next week. Then they may get the real story… but probably not.

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    • Lol exactly. Next week, Arians: “We’re evaluating everybody and no %($*# job is secure, even mine. I will leave the personnel decisions to Jason.”

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  3. Isnt the draft next weekend? I think hes gone by then.

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  4. I like him, but don’t feel sorry for him. GMac, Suh, and Bradford cashed in huge on the last big rookie contracts prior to the new CBA that slotted rookie pay. He was lucky to be drafted when he did. Someone will pay too much for him. Anyone following the team has known this day is coming: Lots of second contracts and tough decisions to make.

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  5. The main take away from this story has nothing to do with McCoy. Licht is deferring to BA so it seems Arians has final say in all personnel decisions. Thats note worthy.

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  6. Here’s the problem I have with the McCoy situation, and it’s not with Gerald. First, Everyone knows this is a business, player’s skills erode, regimes change that want their guys and sometimes an Antonio Brown happens and turnover occurs. With that said – a front office’s sole purpose is to bring in the right talent that fits the teams plans, maintain a salary cap that leaves flexibility and – avoid the temptation to overpay to keep or acquire players while doing their best to ensure there is depth to overcome injuries

    Repeatedly, the Bucs front office has failed in all 3 areas. Jason Licht is a big part of it, but so are the people working under him in scouting, cap management and internal player evaluations. The results speak for themselves on the field. We’re now on the 3rd HC of his tenure, and while I respect Arians I’m not sure what he can do with one hand tied behind his back.

    The Bucs salary cap situation is bad, and it’s not an accidental development. Overpaying in free agency, overvaluing in house talent and a string of drafts where players who don’t fit scheme or provide serviceable depth leads us into a situation where the Bucs WILL NOT have the depth to be successful in 2019. Injuries happen, always. And due to having 53% of the team’s cap tied up on 8 players, and all those draft blunders – the Bucs will not have quality depth again this year.

    Think about this – The Bucs are wagering this draft will help in fixing those problems. A team that’s had one very good draft in the last decade is putting its faith there. Where’s the justiification that this time will be any different? As a simple fan, I see a front office in a state of quiet desperation. They know a bad season will likely cost them their jobs. And they have very little they can do to give Arians the tools he needs to do what others have failed at.

    Bill Parcells once said that if a team wanted him to cook the dinner, they should let him shop for the groceries. Arians can’t do that, and 2019 might just a big portion of canned spaghetti for the fans of this team. I’ve followed them for 35 years and will keep doing it until my dying day. But I’ve seen this before – this false hope and optimism in the spring and summer. Come September we might be reaching for our can openers.

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  7. Man it’s hard to win with the worst gm in the leauge. 5-11 talent
    6-10 I think is the call

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  8. Louis friend, had not really looked into that but eight players having 53% of our salary cap is a large percentage! I would wonder how many other teams have the same situation

    Anyway, that was a thoughtful response

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  9. I do Believe LouisFriend hit the nail..dead on its head! I don’t feel bad for McCoy. He’s made quite a bit of cash. And some team will pay him this year. Like many others, He’ll probably come back to haunt the Bucs. Gerald is smart. He knows the deal and he will land safely. Now..As far as all the bad comments many of you have discharged about GMC? Shame on You. Gerald was ballin for us when we had zero for a lot of years. And he did it well. Don’t forget that. Good luck to him. I’ve always liked the guy.

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  10. I thought the GM outranks the Head Coach when it comes to player decisions?
    Licht response was weak and the wrong way to handle the situation as he threw his head coach under the bus. It would have been better if you just said I can’t respond to that answer because we are still in negotiations with other teams.

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  11. I guess time will tell LouisFriend. I disagree with your point on bad cap management. I think the team has done well in the structure of deals. McCoy is. great example. no signing bonus, instead getting the guaranteed money in the first two years. Cutting McCoy leaves zero cap hit. You can argue they overpaid, but the structure of the deals is solid, led by Mike Greenberg.

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  12. It’s hard to separate “the player”, the brand that we love from “the player” that takes the field. Two potential losses (1 already) for the Bucs this year illustrate that point well. Kwon got a contract well above that he was worth because he is uber popular, and with the energy he brings, people love it. Lynch paid for that excitement. Unfortunately, excitement does not win games; production does, but Kwon’s production did not equal his payday, not even close. Sam Monson‏ wrote on Twitter “Since 2011, only 9 players in the NFL have over 50 missed tackles. Kwon Alexander has 78!” Kwon Alexander signed a 4-year, 54,000,000 contract with the San Francisco 49ers. His brand sold well.

    Gerald McCoy is the same. People love themselves some McCoy; speak ill of him in any way and suffer the raft of Twitter. But in terms of production, grouped as a D-lineman, 108 NFL D-linemen made more solo stops than McCoy in 2018. McCoy’s 17 solo stops for the entire 2018 season was bad, really bad. When compared to say DT DeForest Buckner’s 44 solo stops, it was glaring. Suh more than doubled McCoy at 36 solo stops; you get the picture. Stops win games. When fans say that the Bucs “Can’t stop anyone,” now we know part of the reason why between missed tackles and low tackle rates, it is obvious. Still, there are people who feel insulted when people say that McCoy is not a good player anymore. They are judging the man, who by the way is a class act off the field. But in football, the production has turned into urban legend. Branding works folks. McCoy knows that and for many Bucs fans, he’s a Mercedes Benz.

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  13. Enjoyed your comments Louis.

    Players, such as GMC, being put in “limbo” is a difficult situation for everyone involved. GM, coach and player are all stuck in a position of having to dodge rather pointed questions yet they keep getting asked when no real answer is coming. No GM would publicly announce the options being considered for which he has only partial control. We can only speculate about any conversations that have taken place between Licht, Arians and McCoy. To me the end result after this all plays out is that #93 will be playing elsewhere this season. And for good reason. The Defense was 31st with him so his departure should have little impact.

    There are only a few scenarios:
    1.) Gerald takes pay cut and stays.
    2.) Gerald is traded after agreeing to a pay cut.
    3.) Gerald is released, clears free agency and picked up by another team after agreeing to a pay cut.
    4.) Team makes cap adjustments elsewhere and Gerald stays another year at full salary.
    5.) Gerald is traded to another team who pays his full salary.

    My guess is Licht is trying desperately to get something in return for McCoy before eventually releasing him. Expecting him to come out and say it is foolish.

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  14. Good point! Right now Mcoy is the odd man out with the way FA has gone, the Bucs would have to release a number of players to keep Mcoy on the roster which is not happening. Licht and BA have already tipped there hand in the draft because of Mcoy not restructuring and right now as we sit DT has to be #1 on there big board whether Q Williams or Oliver. I think we have seen the last of #93 in a Buc uniform.

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  15. Was that Jason Licht up there, or Capt. Obvious? What else can he say, I should’ve traded McCoy two years ago like Belichick would’ve while he still had value? There was never any forward thinking with McCoy, they the Bucs, always viewed him as their best player, never their best asset for possible trades that might turn us into winners. For nine years, McCoy has been the face of one of the worst teams in the league. We’ve debated his importance, and worth from P.R. to Joe Buc fan, and back for nine long years. It’s so time to move on. Arians had to prepare to play Gerry twice while coaching the Cards, both times his offense rolled our D, and Gerry was a non factor. B.A. is an in your face, come on let’s kick F-ing ass, not just regular ass, take no prisoners type of coach. McCoy is an I’m sorry, my bad Ben player. It isn’t going to work between those two, it never was. Speaking of personalities, could that be the most important factor determining our first round pick? Be some good players to choose at five, but I’m looking at a personality fit, and that player who would most appeal to Licht, and B.A. is Devin White. They know this team needs more then a great player, it needs a heart, and soul, it needs a captain who doesn’t say let’s go out and have fun guys, we need him to say let’s go out and destroy those f#ckers, then goes out, and does it.

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  16. You had me up until you started the Devin White stuff. How can you rail for a couple hundred words about our starting DT needing to be let go and then say that the Bucs need to sign an off the ball LB with the 5th overall pick? McCoy is gone, there is zero doubt in that. Who will play DT for the next decade? The only place to have a good chance at a decent DT is in the Top 15 of the draft; but if you draft right you never pick in the Top-20 again. Who will line up on the interior opposite of Vea and Allen, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Jeremiah Ledbetter? Kwon Alexander is an example that LB can be found all over the first 4-Rounds. Sorry, but the logic fro taking a ILB at 5 fails, badly. The Top-5 of the draft is for center pieces; OLB/DEs, OT, QB, and DTs. An off the ball LB at 5 would be criminal IMO. But hey, I’m not making the pick.

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