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.”
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.