For a situation that many assumed was a foregone conclusion, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now find themselves halfway through May with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy – and his $13 million cap hit – still on the team’s roster.

NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapaport and Mike Garafolo came together on Thursday to discuss how things have progressed between each side and what, if any, scenarios exist in which McCoy finds himself back in Tampa Bay for the start of the 2019 NFL season.

“To be clear, they don’t want to get rid of him, they just don’t want to pay him $13 million,” Rapaport said. “Or at least have $13 million count against the salary cap. It does seem that, the more we dig into this, that that’s kind of what this is about, rather than the Buccaneers trying to move on from the player because they could have done it already. They would have done it already.”

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Zach Beeker

Rapaport continued.

“They would like the player, it’s just pretty obvious that they don’t want to pay him that much money,” Rapaport said. “What they could do, which is what teams sometimes do in situations like this, is do a little mini extension, lower his cap number and potentially get him some guaranteed money next year, but that just simply has not happened yet and until they get there, we’re always going to get questions about if this player is available via trade.”

Garofolo then added that the Bucs are a team that generally like to work their contracts so the salary cap number and cash number are in line, allowing them to potentially release players like McCoy at this point in their contract without facing significant dead cap space. While rumors have swirled, especially regarding the Browns, about a potential trade for McCoy, Garofolo stated his belief that right now the focus is still on finding a way to reach a common ground between both sides and that it didn’t seem as though a trade was significantly in the works.

“You look at Gerald McCoy and say, alright, we’ll hold on to him and see how this goes here and see if maybe we can work some kind of extension, like Ian talked about,” Garofolo said. “Maybe a trade. I know there’s a lot of talk about the Browns but Ian and I have spoken to sources familiar with the Brown’s thought process and we don’t get any sense that they’re knocking on the Buccaneers’ door, or getting ready to knock it down to get Gerald McCoy, so this is still about Gerald McCoy staying in Tampa Bay and playing for the Buccaneers before opening it up to other teams. That’s the impression I’m getting.”

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR

The question then became, should the Bucs and McCoy not be able to reach an agreement and trade talks open, what would the return be for Tampa Bay? Both believe that a high-round pick is probably out of the question at this point, especially with McCoy “being on the wrong side of 30” and the money that comes along with it, according to Garofolo, despite him being such an impactful player at his position for so long.

“It’s hard to imagine him going for anything high, just consider the value here,” Rapaport said. “This would take a team trading a really high pick, probably not a first-rounder but let’s say a second-rounder, giving a contract extension to a defensive tackle who’s very, very good, but still a defensive tackle, still 31, you’re going to have to pay him more than $10 million per year plus the pick. That’s a lot, a lot to give up.”

McCoy still hasn’t shown up to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp and likely won’t in the near future unless an agreement is reached, and soon. Pewter Report will continue to report on the situation as more information is made available.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Licht seems paralyzed as to what to do about McCoy, and JPP. Seems like a simple decision to me. Cut both. Free up 20 million in much needed cap space. Move on, shit, or get off the pot, if you can’t make a decision, resign.

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  2. I agree surfer dudes! Cut them both and now! Be done with it already! No sense in keeping a guy who no longer wants to be here and will not take a pay cut. He is not worth 13 million! See u at Ring of Honor ceremony Gerald! I’m just saying…

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  3. I appreciate all that JPP and McCoy have done for the Bucs! Thank u for ur service guys! NFL is a youth movement. U have 2 ten year vets making in excess of 13 mil each. One has suffered an awful neck injury and the other… well his pay does not match up with his current production. Nothing personal just business. Would love to keep McCoy one more year at 6-7 mil. I’m just saying…

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  4. I’m not surprised by this chatter. The comment from BA (we’d welcome him with open arms) a little while ago hinted at this. I think it’s McCoy’s camp who has been putting out the vibes of “I was told not to show up” spin…. which leaves a lot out of a conversation that an organization is trying to navigate its cap space. I don’t think those conversation(s) were that definitive in tone that the GMC camp would like us to believe. I’m also not sure the FO would be ok with a 13 million overpay this year if the cap space wasn’t a challenge, even tho I agree that it’s an overpay at this point in his career. PFF ranks his last 3 years as the worst of his career in run defense.

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  5. I betcha Bellacheat would have already cut both McCoy and JPP. We hold on to assets to long hoping..waiting…For What? Its good we have speed at the LB and defensive back positions this year. We’re gonna need it after all those pass completions by our opponents, Licht is hoping McCoy gives in to a salary cut. He’s not. So let him go. We could have gotten something for him if Licht had moved much earlier. McCoy knows somebody will pick him up at salary more than the Bucs are willing to pay. Thats why he’s holding out. As for JPP, You guys are absolutely crazy if you think he’s coming back like he was. Ok..he might for a game or 2 then..out again. Release the guy Bucs. And fortify this pityful D line before its to late.

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  6. As evidenced in the handling of VH3 and McCoy, it seems obvious to me that BA’s regime wants McCoy on the team but doesn’t want McCoy’s mentality on the team.

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  7. Remember the time you forgot to put your garbage can out for pickup?

    You were stuck with hot garbage you didn’t want for a week.

    It stinks, but you deal with it knowing sweet relief is only one cycle away.

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  8. BigSombrero, nice metaphor.
    I don’t care if he stays or goes but I’m pretty sure Licht and BA know what they are attempting to accomplish.
    Still plenty of time before training camp even starts, what’s the rush.

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  9. Arians coaching staff can use players like McCoy and VH3. But Arians coaching staff is prepared to move on as well. It is as simple as that.

    The ball is in VH3 and McCoy’s courts and they must make some choices in a month or so.

    As for Licht he has clearly lost some power within the organization IMVHO.

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  10. Just yesterday, or the day before on instagram, GMC posted something about having his back against the wall. If you read the replies, his wife replied with something along the lines of “it’s funny all these people think you want to go back to Tampa.” That could explain the situation

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  11. Well if that is true that is unfortunate.

    According to NFL insiders the Bucs have not asked McCoy to take a pay cut. We shall see what really unfolds after the month is over.

    Right now I do not think it is purely about money but it is obvious a factor.

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  12. Who knows what’s really in GMC’s head? Perhaps he didn’t like BA’s blunt, albeit factual remarks, about his rather mediocre play and lack of impact from his film study. My observations are like those of many others. Good, not great, player. Rarely makes an impact play. I suspect Geraldini’s feelings are hurt and his absence from OTA’s is a form of pouting. As DrD noted, “there’s no rush”.

    As for JPP. Again there’s no rush. At some point he’ll just go on the non football injury list and not count against the roster or salary cap until he’s activated. His $ just might go to the remaining unsigned draft picks.

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  13. Agree no rush on either and it will work itself out. Just not much news before camp so stories like this keep coming up. I honestly don’t care at all if he stays or goes either. If they get cap number down and restructure fine. If not fine. He isn’t going to be a big difference maker on this team and he hasn’t been imo for couple years or so.

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  14. Ron Potter, I’m also not sure the FO would be ok with a 13 million overpay this year if the cap space wasn’t a challenge,..”

    That’s a good observation. Totally agree.

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  15. First McCoy seems to be a great guy and great for the community however that only goes so far. This is not personal but he seems to be making it that way. I agree with most on here that McCoy at this point is still an asset to the team and with the JPP mess a needed pass rusher. He has been a good player, not great as some in the media suggest. He needs to come to the realization he’s not getting paid 13 Million by any team. He’s a great guy but not a leader of men more of a person who adapts to what is happening at the moment.

    As to BA’S comments that started this whole situation. He said nothing wrong and though maybe shocking was correct in his assessment of his play. Imagine a coach challenging his players the horror of it all. What i don’t like and my issue with McCoy all along is as a team leader you would think he would take BA’S comments ans use it as motivation but he’s pouting about it. Not a good look nor how you want your so called leader to react to adversity.

    You can’t blame him for all the defensive problems as you can’t blame Winston for everything that goes wrong on offense. What you can say is he never could lead the guys on his side of the ball. There is example after example of it. I will give one the Swaggy Baker incident. You have Winston (2nd Year) and Kwon (Rookie) go after Swaggy in the locker room but McCoy no where to be found. Telling.

    BA is not messing around either get on board or walk the plank. He wants all hands on deck. The country club is closed folks. Time to put up or shut up. I love it and its about time.

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