The future of Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in Tampa Bay remains murky at best.
Last month at the NFL Scouting Combine, Bucs GM Jason Licht said the team didn’t have any plans to release the veteran Pro Bowler to clear cap space prior to free agency. But he stopped short of guaranteeing McCoy would be on the roster in September.
On Monday at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, Licht said things are still status quo while speaking exclusively with the local Tampa media.
“We talked about him at the Combine and nothing has really changed since then,” Licht said. “He’s a great player, been a great player for the Bucs, so…”
Licht was asked about the coaches evaluation of McCoy this offseason but was somewhat vague in his response.
“[The coaches think] that he is a good player, that he can get off the ball and is a good pressure player and has been a good player for a long time,” Licht said. “We talked about every player on the team.”
Licht also told PewterReport.com and other local media members last month that he would have news on the progress of linebacker Kendell Beckwith’s status, who was injured last offseason in a car accident and missed all of the 2018 campaign. Like the McCoy question, Licht had little to report.
“Not right now – when we get back we will have to look into that situation a little bit more and have more detail on that,” Licht said.
The Bucs have added two new linebackers this offseason in Deone Bucannon and Shaquil Barrett, in addition to re-signing Kevin Minter and Devante Bond to replace Kwon Alexander, who departed for San Francisco in free agency, and potentially Beckwith.
The Bucs are still in need of freeing up some salary cap space to even sign their rookie draft class, and possibly add a few more free agents along the way. PewterReport.com has reported that Tampa Bay is going to sign Blaine Gabbert to compete for the backup quarterback job with Ryan Griffin behind starter Jameis Winston.
McCoy is set to count $13 million for 2019 and the team could look to still attempt to trade McCoy before or following the draft. In addition, the Bucs could seek to restructure his deal as well.
Or McCoy could end up lining up as the starting three-technique defensive tackle for a 10th season in Tampa Bay when the season kicks off this fall.