There were segments of the Tampa Bay fan base and the media that cover the Bucs that felt the team didn’t show enough respect to former All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy by hanging onto him until earlier this week when he was released. Critics of McCoy’s late offseason release claimed the Bucs hurt McCoy’s chances of cashing in on a big unrestricted free agent pay day.

According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, that isn’t necessarily the case. Stroud reported on Friday that McCoy is scheduled to meet with the Browns on today, and there are also a number of other teams who have interest in the six-time Pro Bowler.

Yet there was a reason why the Bucs chose to hang on to McCoy into late May.

A league source told PewterReport.com that Tampa Bay and an undisclosed team were very close to a trade deal that would have sent McCoy to that team for a draft pick or picks, but the deal fell through in the 11th hour. The Cleveland Browns, which are hosting McCoy on his first free agent visit, had been most the most linked team to McCoy this offseason in terms of interest, but PewterReport.com can also confirm it was not the Browns that the Bucs were dealing with in regards to a possible trade.

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

While McCoy could have possibly earned even more had he had been released prior to free agency beginning in March, Jason Licht’s first priority as the Bucs general manager is to the franchise – not McCoy.

The Buccaneers have paid McCoy nearly $114 million since making him a first-round draft pick in 2010, including a contract extension in 2014 that included $51.5 million in guaranteed money.

In hindsight, perhaps the Buccaneers could have handled McCoy’s release differently because ultimately they were not able to deal him, but in the end, attempting to get anything in return for the six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle was the right move for the team that paid him handsomely over the past nine seasons.

It appears both sides are pleased with the conclusion of the parting of ways, as the Buccaneers have since signed Ndamukong Suh and will save close to $4 million in salary cap space, and McCoy himself thanked the Buccaneer organization and said he appreciated his release. McCoy also stated he would return one day to retire as a Buccaneer.

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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]

44 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know enough about Todd Bowles scheme to know if this is possible. But I asked someone who is familiar if both Suh and McCoy could be on the field at the same time? The response I got was sure, just as Vea and McCoy were, Vea and Suh could be. You just put one or the other at defensive end. Makes it harder to line up double teams if they can shift players around.

    Well, that got me to thinking. If I’m reading this correctly that McCoy would sign elsewhere for 10 or 11mil, I would cut JPP and re-sign McCoy. Put the two best free agent pass rushers left on the market on the field at the same time. JPP is lost for at least half the season if not more with a fractured neck.

    Follow the money with me. JPP’s cap number is 14.9mil. McCoy’s cap number was 13mil. My understanding (Jenna Laine/others) that if JPP is moved to Reserve/NFI, JPP can be cut with no penalty. If JPP is cut and McCoy already cut, that’s 27.9mil in cap savings. When Suh signs at 10mil (9.25mil plus incentives) and if McCoy re-signs at 10mil (11mil with no state income tax), that would leave 7.9mil in cap savings.

    I’m operating on the assumption that McCoy never really wanted to leave. There is no doubt with Suh off the market and Ziggy Ansah signed in Seattle, that McCoy is the best pass rusher left in free agency. That’s why so many teams are after him. Remember McCoy’s farewell Instagram “I am a Buccaneer forever and I will be back, I will retire as a Buc.” For all intent and purposes, this is a ship that has already sailed. If all involved could check egos at the door, the Bucs could have perhaps the best pass rush in the league and increase their cap space too. This I’m afraid this is a case of too little, too late! Oh, but what could have been! Go Bucs!

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    • that actually does make sense, but according to GMC’s wife’s comments on social media I don’t think he wanted to resign here anyway

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  2. Spin by Gerald’s agent. Not sure why people can’t figure that out.

    Two of the teams mentioned to be “interested” are Carolina and New Orleans.

    Both have less than $10M in cap space available.

    I guess no one looks that up.

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  3. @macabee, McCoy, IMO already had one foot out the door at the end of 2018 season; he was literally saying goodbye after the last game of the season. So I assume McCoy had a plan and anticipated his free agency long before he was released.

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  4. Licht should’ve closed the deal on a trade even if it was for a 7th rounder ten years from now! Getting anything for him was better than just releasing him for nothing!

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  5. That a team was willing to give some draft capital up for McCoy then thought better of it is a million miles from where we were when Scott was dreaming up a scenario where Licht was going to convince John Lynch to turn McCoy and the 5th overall pick into a trade up to the second overall pick a little over a month ago. My how time (and logic) flies. Like Licht, it’s a shame McCoy isn’t actually worth anything in the trade market.

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  6. I think Gerald’s pride took a hit by Arains comments at the yearly coaches meetings and that’s why he didn’t show up for OTA’s, even though he didn’t have too, and probably why he wanted out of Tampa Bay. He could have showed up and tried to prove Arians wrong, but he chose not to. If indeed that was the case, then I wouldn’t want a player like that on my team. You got to be tougher than that.

    But if that was not the case, and it was the Bucs who wanted move on, which may be is the case, maybe the new coaches saw something on film that said this had to be now. Macabee makes a great point and I would find it hard to believe that the Bucs didn’t already look at that scenario. After all, they pay people good money to investigate these kind of things. At this point, you have to trust the Bucs, and have faith that they know more than any of us. The Suh signing sure does look to be a move in the right direction, and a better bang for the Buc (pun intended). I like where we are going and the ride just got a lot more interesting. Go Bucs!

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  7. @macabee you’ve brought out the good stuff early, the Holiday weekend usually starts around 5 o’clock. Lol but I love the way you’re saying this because that would be one stout defensive front. Unfortunately I don’t think McCoy’s playful Batman personality can handle Arians brash Bear Bryant old school approach. So the best thing for both sides was to part ways.

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  8. McCoy is gone move on. Lol.

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  9. Id be shocked if McCoy gets more than Suh. All he offers is that fast first step, and age is slowing that down.

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    Rating: -5. From 25 votes.
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  10. Dude, that’s not the case at all. They didn’t want McCoy to come to camp because they didn’t want him to get his hands on the new play book just to be signed by a Team like the Saints who would then get their hands on the blue prints for our new Defense. They knew all along that he was either going to be traded or released so they were never going to have him show up.

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    • not to mention the fact that he could’ve gotten injured then his salary would be guaranteed

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  11. still waiting and seeing. Playoff results is what Im looking for.

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  12. its true..You can’t keep a good man down. Good men move on and succeed. Dungy, Doug Williams, Dilfer and a host of others got their superbowls despite us. I just get that feelin McCoy might also. GMC made all pro 6 out of 9 yrs here. As voted by fellow players and coaches around the league. Call him what you like. He might not be a great player. But he sure as hell is a very good one. And now he gets to pick the team he wants to play for. Licht could have gotten something for him. As always, he waited and waited. We save 3 to 4 mil for one yr with Suh. After that, he’ll go to the next highest bidder. Thats his MO. Somebody here says they’d be shocked to see GMC get more than Suh. Bite down on the stick hard and brace yourself. Your shock is comin.

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  13. This is so funny because all of these McCoy haters who claimed that he wasn’t worth anything get to sit back and watch nearly 1/2 the league start a bidding war for his services. I don’t remember this happening for his supposed replacement.

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  14. I think we got what we needed from the “swap”. Glad with where we are.

    Would have liked to get something for GMC, but if there was REALLY a deal to be had, we would have made it.

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    Rating: +9. From 13 votes.
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  15. Spitfire, I thought the same thing, If he Bucs were definitely going to release him, why show him the new playbook. This may be especially true if one of the interested parties come from the NFC South.

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  16. McCoy had a good career here people wanted the next Sapp and McCoy wasn’t that but he had a good run. Fans here wanted suh since 2010 now he is ours and I hope it works out. I’m still trying to understand why jpp isn’t on the nfli list. We saw this movie with beckwith and he is younger and broke an ankle jpp going into is 30s with a broken neck making 14 mil. Yea that makes sense

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  17. For all the McCoy haters: you were correct. He will still be McCoy. And with every piece of news about suitors, it’s the same 3 plays. I call them.

    Milquetoast. Tepid. Uninspiring.

    Fact is: He still can’t tackle. He will still be falling down for no reason. He will still only play 60% of snaps when not injured for 2 or more games. He will still feature sportsmanship over ferocity OR winning. He’s still the lovable LOSER we have all watched for 9 years.

    Teams linked to him will pay him whatever they pay him. I actually hope he goes to a division rival for top dollar. The Giants wouldn’t surprise me either. They have a great GM who’s looking for unselfish players who aren’t like OBJ, Collins, or Olivier Vernon. Perfect landing spot. GMC is an ensemble piece, not a featured star.

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  18. You people are funny lol yet It took Suh months to get signed for 1 year/10 MIL, by a team that is gonna finish in last place. Yeah seems like teams were knocking down the door to sign him. Guaranteed McCoy has way more interest than that

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  19. Nobody said McCoy wasn’t worth anything… just not 13 million!

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  20. Also, it’s not like the Bucs didn’t want to keep McCoy… just not for 13 million. McCoy is no longer with the Bucs! Let’s just move on already! His replacement has been signed. Don’t really care where or with whom he signs! Let’s just concern ourselves with Buc’s players! Go Bucs!

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    Rating: +14. From 16 votes.
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  21. Bucs had no place to go. They had to move on from him because the 13 million for a 10 year player with diminishing skills simply was not going to happen. I think they tried every option available to them. McCoy was a very good player for Bucs. He will be missed, but it is time to look to the future. Suh is a good replacement, and he was cheaper.

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    Rating: +5. From 9 votes.
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  22. I used to be a staunch defender of McCoy’s but over the last three years of his career my opinion of him has changed to be more like BigSombreros.
    I believe one of the reasons Licht had to have a sit down with Vea and tell him to ratchet up the nasty attitude was he saw him mirroring McCoy’s traits.
    Never was that more evident than in the last couple of years when he let Swaggy Bakers lackadaisical play infect the team without talking to him and when he apologized to BigBen for hitting him.
    There was also his pregame speech at Dallas two seasons ago which sounded like a pre warmup motivational talk to a Tony Robbins seminar,

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  23. Reality check people. McCoy is cut. He will not be back.

    Suh is a Buc for ONE year.

    This lack of logic or common sense on here is ridiculous. Just watch the game tape and focus on him specifically like the coaches and GM’s have. He is just not very good or disruptive. It ISNT a rumor. If he gets 11 million dollars, it will be the first time in his 9 year career that he earned a penny more than Suh.

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    Rating: +4. From 16 votes.
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  24. glad to see gmc go to winning franchise. he wins this round and his past bucs paydays. he aint hurtin, and will likely go to playoffs this year, while bucs are picking another qb next year to start rebuild. sooo sad. ba will be gone in 2 yrs. lets hope find a real coach with real qb in 2years?!

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    Rating: -9. From 19 votes.
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  25. Nobody traded for him because they knew we had to cut him! He wasted his career as a buc! They did next to nothing to help this man flourish! I wish him the best and hope he gets a ring. Great player and even better man! It’s been an honor to watch him play and wear his Jersey….

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  26. They got zilch nata nothing zero for player 10 teams scambling for imagine that!

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  27. Nobody traded for Antonio Brown because they knew he was gonna be cut! Oh wait, they still traded for him.

    Nobody traded for DeSean Jackson, they knew he would be cut! Oh wait, they still traded for him.

    Nobody traded for Robert Quinn because his contract was too high and they knew he was gonna be cut. Oh wait, they still traded for him then Dallas renegotiated him to a lower deal!

    Nobody traded for McCoy because his contract was too big for too long and it didn’t match his production since he signed it. He has been overrated by media and fans for years.

    McCoy says he wants to win and plans on picking a contender. It makes sense he would say that. The only way he can get to the playoffs is to hitch a ride on a team that was good before he arrived.

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    Rating: +3. From 13 votes.
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  28. Why do these debates, that include obvious speculation and opinion rather than insight, go on endlessly? What’s done is done. As Fredster said, “move on.” Time will tell if the Bucs benefited or not. Of course throughout the entire 2019 season folks will be presenting cherry-picked game statistics to try to prove their case. Just like some still do regarding Mariota and Winston. Stats aren’t everything. Watch the game.

    My guess is the change in defensive schemes will be more noticeable to us than who is manning the 3-Technique spot. Many times last season McCoy’s play was invisible. It was Vita Vea who stood out. (Didn’t look “fat and out of shape” to me.) I’m hoping to at least witness an impact play once in a while from Suh. I’m also hoping GMC does well with his new team.

    Perhaps the last hurrah for both men.

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  29. Yeah I got 5 negatives for saying time to move on Scubog? Lol. Whatever this place cracks me up at times. He was a Great person not a great player. The Bucs overpaid him late in his contract and had to part ways. Story over. He’s gone and continuing to debate it, and why, and what ifs and how much he makes….stupid to me but have at it folks. I guess it’s just that time year with now real news. Lol.

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  30. Fredster, it doesn’t matter what other people think. You’re statement of He’s gone move on cannot even be debated. It has nothing to do with whether anyone liked him or not and if they think we should have kept him or not. He is gone and there is nothing left to do but to move on. So ignore the Trills because they are the only ones that will still hang onto the past and try to use it to further their Troll agenda. The only thing we can do, like it or not, is move on and be hopeful for the future because whether the Trolls wanna admit it or not, there is a lot to look forward to with this team moving forward.

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  31. I have now done enough research and will state Bucs downgraded at tackle, 31 teams would not give Suh a contract,Suh will figure out Bucs will finish last and save his body for next year and tell Bucs thanks for the 9.2 mil……………. and also thank Florida for not taking tax.

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  32. Agree fredster and scubog, but it’s so fun to poke fun at these fans who think gmc was sooooo valuable to the defense. Lol. Apparently he wasn’t worth a 7th rounder. 😂

    Fans who love GMC had this expectation that he was worth a high draft pick or player trade because the media inflates his value. He’s always been a media darling and when Licht/Arians didn’t get anything, they were all confused -media included. I said all along the Bucs might be lucky to get a 6th for GMC because he’s all hype(quick first step) and reputation(as a nice guy to fans and media). That doesn’t pay dividends on gameday.

    I’m actually excited about the D-Line and front 7 for the first time in years. I watched a few highlight videos of Suh on YouTube and that’s the kind DT play I’ve been yearning for!

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  33. No one wanted to trade for McCoy even at the risk of losing him to another team because no one wanted to eat his overpaid salary. Simple as that.
    DumbAssBob, Suh’s contract is not guaranteed, if BA senses he is loafing, I have no doubt BA will cut him. I didn’t know Nick Jr. and the Cartoon Channel gave out NFL stats

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  34. I could understand people’s frustration if this was a multi year deal with Suh..but it’s only ONE year. McCoy could have stayed if he wanted too but didn’t want to take a pay cut..that’s his fault. His play did not warrant his contract. I’ll gladly take a chance with Suh on a one year deal.

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  35. Drdneast should stop calling people who has opposite veiw of Bucs names , Drdneast is standing on side of team that has lived at bottom for years and years working on getting worse no Arians will keep Suh as he has no one as good as Suh to replace him with This team is starting minus 9 good players and as injuries come about it will go from horrible to disaster.

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  36. I am really satisfied with this roster at the moment. A very potent offense and an attacking front 7 that is focused on stuffing the run. I’m doing the math and I think playoffs are a good possibility! Shutting down the run will be critical vs the upcoming schedule though. Suh helps with that a lot as a premiere run stuffer. Only the Colts and Texans have a passing attack that is stronger than their rushing attack.

    I plan on the Bucs being 4-2 after London, including a SWEEP of Carolina and wins vs SF and NYG. Cam has a shoulder that’s still healing and facing Carolina early helps the Bucs. Carolina has to play on the same TNF and travel to London, just like the Bucs.

    The Bucs get a bye week after London concluding the first half of the season(4 preseason/6 reg games).

    The last 10 games feature a tough start with Titans and Seahawks on the road, but after that the Bucs are set up to close it out strong…5 out of the last 8 are at home. Wins vs Arizona, Jacksonville, Detroit seem very possible. A season split with N.O. and Atlanta also seems possible.

    Winning vs Indy, Houston, Seattle, and LA Rams may depend on the health of the teams when they play, but I think Tampa has a chance to beat every one of those playoff teams even though I am penciling in a loss for each matchup.

    GO BUCS!

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  37. Jason Licht has no idea how to do his job – period. There is a market McCoy now, and there was an even bigger market for him before. Did it seriously just dawn on Licht in the past few weeks that he was going to have to move on from McCoy…this guy has exactly zero ounces of strategy in his bones – everything is a reaction – everything catches him by surprise – he’s always looking for excuses and for others to blame.

    Licht’s gotta go!

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  38. @buc-ass-bob: By your ill-conceived logic, 32 teams still have not signed McCoy. Of course, at some point one will and “Brown-Ass-Bob” or maybe “Raven-Ass-Bob” will bemoan the signing citing your reasoning that no one else, including the lowly Bucs, wanted him.

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  39. Once the contract for McCoy is signed we will know his true value. At this point it’s speculation. McCoy’s agent and marketing team aren’t dummies. The “reports” that he was offered $11M and turned it down could be completely BS. So when he signs an $8M contract himself and media outlets can still say he had more value but turned it down to go to a “contender”. There’s like 5 teams everyone knows suck and 25 other teams that aren’t winning a SB in the next 2yrs. Browns, Bengals, Ravens and Panthers are in that 25 and he is visiting them as “contenders”. Teams saying they’d love to have McCoy like the Saints….put your money where your mouth is and they aren’t. We will see how much he gets paid but at this point they are setting the narrative so we he makes less than Suh McCoy’s handles will be saying oh well he turned down $11M..BS

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  40. I think it was time for McCoy to go. The defense never rallied behind him really. If it’s me reading the tea leaves, I have to say “I would have a hard time following a 30 year old man who has the bat man symbol on his Rolls Royce.”

    I think McCoy is pretty immature and lives in a fantasy world where football is a sideline for him. That’s what making 114 Million over 9 years will do to a kid as he grows into manhood (or not). Maybe on his next stop he’ll play with an edge to him.

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  41. Best of luck to him. He’ll be in the Ring of Honor one day.

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