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FAB 1. McCoy Refused Bucs’ Pay Cut Offer

Former Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy made a controversial appearance on FoxSports’ Skip And Shannon: Undisputed show with hosts Shannon Sharpe, Skip Bayless and Jenny Taft where he talked about the lack of respect he was shown by Tampa Bay on the way out the door.

McCoy made a big deal about not getting a phone call from anyone in the organization and the fact that the team gave Ndamukong Suh his No. 93 jersey right away. But there was a much bigger quote that isn’t receiving the attention it deserves.

This quote is actually tied to the catalyst for everything that happened.

That catalyst being the fact that McCoy was offered a chance to remain a Buccaneer, but that he had to take a pay cut in order to do so.

“Did they offer you a restructure or did they just want to part ways?” Sharpe asked McCoy.

“It was a little bit of both,” McCoy said. “It wasn’t technically a restructure. We tried to come to a decision of what we could do … and we just had to … nah.”

McCoy is right. It was a little bit of both, and he admits that it wasn’t a restructure. That means it was an offer to take a pay cut.

The Bucs wanted to keep McCoy – but at the right price. He was offered the chance to stay, but refused to take a pay cut. That led to the team parting ways with him this offseason.

I texted McCoy about this revelation on Thursday: “When you were asked by Shannon if you were asked to restructure why didn’t you say, ‘The Bucs asked me to take a pay cut but I refused?’”

McCoy replied back to my text: “Where are you getting your info? You’re obviously mistaken with the info you’ve been given. If you had facts you would know why I didn’t say that.”

I replied, “So you were not asked to take a pay cut by the Buccaneers?”

“Ask them,” McCoy said in his reply to me, refusing to answer the question directly.

I told McCoy I was asking him, and at the end of our text chat, I asked him one more time: “So you are saying the Bucs did NOT ask you to take a pay cut?”

McCoy replied to me: “My decision WAS NOT based off money. You and your colleagues stop writing it was about money. I have plenty of money. Y’all thinking everything is about money proves y’all never knew me. Goodbye Scott!! I’m done.”

Panthers DT Gerald McCoy
Panthers DT Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Getty Images

McCoy’s decision not to take a pay cut was not about money in his mind. I believe the reason why he didn’t take a pay cut wasn’t over dollars and cents, rather it was about his perceived value to the team. I’m guessing McCoy believed he was worth $13 million in principle, and due to his importance within the organization and his longevity with the franchise, he shouldn’t have to take a pay cut.

To the Bucs, it was about dollars and cents. They needed to create some salary cap room and believed his value had gone down and that McCoy was not worth $13 million anymore.

Another important fact that PewterReport.com previously reported is that the Bucs were trying to trade him during the offseason. In the end they couldn’t get a deal done, largely because of his $13 million salary, and were forced to release him once the team had ramped up negotiations with Suh and had McCoy’s replacement lined up, which was the smart business move to make.

In essence, McCoy brought this all on himself.

Had he taken the pay cut, and I don’t know how much of a cut the team offered – $3 million? $5 million? – McCoy would be a Buccaneer and not a Panther today. And he would be wearing the No. 93 jersey – not Suh.

New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians stated it plainly at the NFL Owners Meeting in Arizona when he said that the 31-year old McCoy had reached an age were salary and production didn’t coincide as his sack numbers had dipped to six over the past two seasons.

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

“The financial is a big part of it,” Arians said. “I have got to evaluate him. [The] guy is up in age. It is different. Now it is usually the age where they get paid the most. And production and price don’t match. So we have to find that out.”

I’ve previously reported that Bucs general manager Jason Licht has been enamored with Suh for quite some time, dating back to 2014 when he was tempted to land Suh in free agency during the 2015 offseason. But coming off a very unexpected 2-14 season in Lovie Smith’s first year as head coach, trying to land Suh would have meant breaking the bank for him in free agency and there wouldn’t have been any guarantee that Suh would have chosen Tampa Bay over Miami.

So Licht did what he thought was best, which was to re-sign McCoy to a contract extension during the 2014 season rather than risk losing him in free agency and failing to land Suh as a replacement. Losing McCoy and not signing Suh would have crippled Smith’s defense and could have cost Licht his job. McCoy ended up re-signing with Tampa Bay for far less than what Suh received in Miami.

Fast forward to 2019 and Licht had the chance to possibly get Suh again. When McCoy refused a pay cut, that made Licht’s decision a rather easy one. He could sign Suh, who he, Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles believed would be a better fit in Bowles’ defense due to his experience in the Rams’ similar 3-4 scheme, and still achieve the objective of saving some salary cap space. Suh signed for $9.25 million per year, which was $3.75 million less than what McCoy was supposed to make.

So knowing this, let’s examine all of the somewhat controversial statements McCoy made on Skip And Shannon: Undisputed and review them through this lens.

“As far as signing him (Suh), organizations have to do what they have to do when you let a player of my caliber go, so I understand that,” McCoy said. “But as far as giving a way my number, in the history of (the) Bucs they have a Ring of Honor and all of the greatest players in the organization usually get their numbers retired. When Sapp left – Sapp was one of a kind – but John Lynch, Brooksy (Derrick Brooks) – all these guys left – Lee Roy Selmon, Ronde Barber. When all these guys left, nobody wore their number. They didn’t give their number away, and it was a sign of respect.”

That’s a true statement. However, what no one is mentioning is the fact that the Bucs did not have a player with the credentials rivaling that of a Sapp, Lynch, Brooks, Selmon or Barber immediately join the team and request any of those numbers at the time.

Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Suh is a five-time Pro Bowler, and a five-time All-Pro, including a three-time first-teamer, in addition to being the NFL 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year. He’s worn No. 90, which is currently worn by Bucs outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, and also No. 93, which became vacant following McCoy’s departure.

Was it disrespectful to give Suh McCoy’s No. 93 jersey? It was in McCoy’s eyes.

But wouldn’t it be just as disrespectful to tell Suh, “Hey, Ndamukong, we know you’ve branded yourself as No. 93 and created that identity for yourself throughout the last four years, but pick a new number?”

Of course McCoy has all those Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro once, while Suh has yet to play a down in red and pewter. I could see why McCoy would feel disrespected, but guess who is in charge of the Bucs Ring of Honor and making jersey numbers off limits?

It’s not Licht, and it’s certainly not Arians.

That’s the Glazers’ territory, and ultimately they okayed giving away No. 93 to Suh right away.

“Well, six Pro Bowls, All-Pro four times – this is Tampa Bay, and I’m one of the best players to ever play in the organization. I’m going to say it. Usually I wouldn’t, so what? It kind of shows the respect and how they feel about me. I think it does. Them giving the number away, that’s their prerogative, but the respect they showed … it would be different if it was a guy who came in and he signed for four or five years. This was a one-year deal, and you said because he caused a problem or he really asked for the number and we gave it to him. It may seem just like a number, but it’s bigger than that. It’s respect. That was a big part of the separation between me and Tampa – period. It was the respect that they showed me all offseason. It wasn’t there.”

Ultimately, the Glazers and the Bucs organization don’t believe McCoy is in the same realm as Sapp, Brooks, Selmon, Lynch, Barber and others. Those players were legends.

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

McCoy was merely a great player in Tampa Bay, just like Simeon Rice and Hardy Nickerson were. And that’s not a slight on McCoy at all, as being one of the greatest players in a franchise is quite a feat. He just wasn’t a legend.

That’s not to say that McCoy may not be in the Bucs Ring of Honor one day. But in order for that to occur, the Glazers will have to change some of their selection criteria. Every inductee from late owner Malcolm Glazer to coaches John McKay, Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy to all of the players has one thing in common – they’ve all been a part of at least one playoff team in Tampa Bay.

Unfortunately, McCoy can’t make that claim.

The other criteria from the likes of left tackle Paul Gruber to tight end Jimmie Giles to fullback Mike Alstott and others is the fact that the current Bucs Ring of Honor inductees made their mark on the franchise’s record books. McCoy is the fourth-leading sacker in team history but doesn’t own a single Bucs record.

All McCoy has is his six Pro Bowls, which is a great individual accomplishment, but it’s still a bit hollow in the fact that he was not a part of a Bucs playoff team or that he made his mark on the franchise’s record books.

“One thing I’ll never is slander or disrespect the organization that changed my life, so I won’t do that,” McCoy said on Undisputed.

Yet McCoy spent most of the interview calling out the Bucs organization over the way he was treated and how he felt disrespected, so he was really talking out of both sides of his mouth.

“But what I will speak on is the truth,” McCoy continued. “The truth is, I did not speak to any of the coaches besides Bruce Arians without running into them while I was in the building working out. Nobody called my phone. I didn’t speak to my D-line coach. I didn’t speak to Todd Bowles. I didn’t speak to anybody. I didn’t speak to Jason Licht. I didn’t speak to nobody. If I’m supposed to be one of the staples, and have been one of the staples in this organization since I’ve been there … it would be different if they weren’t calling other people, but they were calling other people. You mean to tell me you can’t just pick up the phone? Hey, we’re here and I just wanted to introduce myself – none of that. I spoke to Todd Bowles and he’s a great man. This is not about the men. This is about what happened from the organization, period.”

Bucs legendary DT Warren Sapp
Bucs legendary DT Warren Sapp – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Breakups aren’t easy – in love relationships or work relationships. Breakups are hard, and oftentimes awkward for any organization that is dealing with an iconic player.

Lord knows there have been some bad breakups in Tampa Bay throughout the years.

Cornerback Donnie Abraham, who was the Bucs’ all-time leading interceptor with 31 picks from 1996-2001, wasn’t even offered a contract extension by former general manager Rich McKay, and like McCoy, didn’t receive a phone call. Neither did running back Warrick Dunn, who was forced to sign with Atlanta in the 2002 offseason when he wasn’t given a contract extension.

Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp never got a meeting with new general manager Bruce Allen in the 2004 offseason as the team opted to extend the contract of Booger McFarland rather than Sapp. That same offseason, legendary safety John Lynch offered to take a pay cut, but the team had concerns about his surgically-repaired neck and released him in a salary cap move.

Legendary defensive end Simeon Rice didn’t pass a physical on the first day of the 2007 training camp in Orlando and was cut later that night.

Former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik ushered in a youth movement in the 2009 offseason by parting ways with Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, Dunn and veteran wide receivers Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard and veteran linebacker Cato June all on the same day.

Should McCoy have gotten a phone call from Licht or Arians? What was there to say at that point – that McCoy was no longer in their plans, or that the team was now trying to trade him because he refused to take a pay cut?

How would McCoy have reacted to that news? Would he have taken to social media and bashed the team for taking that approach? He’s recently ripped ESPN’s Jenna Laine on Twitter and did the same to me last year before blocking our @PewterReport Twitter account.

In reality, McCoy’s first grievance with the Bucs and the supposed lack of respect he received from the team had nothing to do with phone calls or jersey numbers. It had to do with the fact that he was asked to take a pay cut in the first place. I believe McCoy felt devalued by being asked to take a pay cut.

Panthers DT Gerald McCoy
Panthers DT Gerald McCoy – Photo from Carolina Panthers

McCoy believed he was worth $13 million. The market said otherwise, and Carolina ultimately said he was worth just $8 million. McCoy is actually the third-highest paid defensive tackle in Carolina now behind Kawann Short, who averages $16.1 million per year, and Dontari Poe, who averages $9.33 million per year.

“Nobody called me – not once,” McCoy continued. “I never spoke on that, but nobody picked up the phone. Not one time – to call me, to speak to me. I think that speaks volumes. Silence speaks volumes. A statement was made about me from our G.M., which is fine – everybody is entitled to (his) opinion. But when you go silent, especially when the media is slandering me, making up stories about, ‘Oh it’s a contract issue’ and all this. It’s easy. Just pick up the phone and say, ‘Hey listen, we’re not worried about none of that. We want to welcome you. We want to introduce ourselves as a new staff.’ None of that happened.”

How exactly was the media slandering McCoy? Which members of the media were making false and damaging statements about him?

McCoy’s departure was contract-related. He even admitted that to Sharpe when asked about “restructuring.”

“We met, but that’s all it was – a meet,” McCoy said about his meeting with Arians. “We didn’t meet. We didn’t sit down and talk for an hour. We didn’t talk about the plan moving forward. We didn’t say any of this. All that was said in the media was ‘We had to evaluate his play, and we evaluated him and he’s going to be our three-technique.’ Then it goes from ‘He’s going to be our three-technique’ to ‘He’s not enough and he hasn’t been the same over …’”

Arians was pretty clear with the media. If McCoy remained in Tampa Bay he would be the three-technique. But his remaining in Tampa was contingent on taking a pay cut, which McCoy refused to do.

“I have no hard feelings towards Tampa at all, but there comes a point in time where you have to show some respect, and I didn’t feel like they showed me the respect I deserved – that I earned. I’m not saying you give me respect for something I didn’t earn. I earned that respect. Tampa hasn’t been a winning team and we all know it’s hard – you know it’s hard to be considered a Pro Bowl, All-Pro person on a losing team. I did it six years straight. That’s hard to do. For the respect I received after doing that – they showed none. I don’t know why? That’s my thing. It’s not that I’m bad-mouthing them, I just don’t understand what happened. I don’t know why.”

Bucs GM Jason Licht - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Again, it’s pretty clear looking through the lens of McCoy not wanting to take a pay cut. His perceived value of himself was higher than that of the team’s value of McCoy. That’s okay because value is often a subjective measure. The two sides were at an impasse and they parted ways.

But remember that McCoy had an option to stay, and ultimately turned that down.

Sharpe asked McCoy if he believed if Arians or Licht was behind his release.

“Yeah, I know him,” McCoy said about Licht. “Bruce Arians doesn’t know me, but Jason Licht does. But overall, and you know how this goes, staffs and coaches talk to the G.M. and they have this meeting about what’s going to happen moving forward. I don’t know if it was a statement of, ‘Well, let’s not talk to him’ or ‘Let’s not do this’ – I don’t know. I wasn’t in the conversation.”

Once McCoy declined a pay cut, which was believed to be in late January or early February, he was really no longer in the Bucs’ plans. There was no need for Arians, Bowles or defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers to communicate with McCoy. What were they supposed to say?

Licht was under no obligation to look out for McCoy’s best interests by releasing him in early March so he could cash in on free agency. Licht’s obligation as the team’s general manager is to look out for the best interests of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And that meant trying to trade McCoy to get something of value for him, such as a player or a draft pick.

When potential pre-draft and post-draft trade talks evaporated, and discussions with Suh began to heat up, Licht pulled the trigger and parted ways with McCoy, who ultimately had a hand in his own departure from Tampa Bay.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

51 COMMENTS

  1. Slow news day so PW writes more about McCoy
    McCoy is Panther let them write about him .
    Move on

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  2. I agree with the overwhelming majority here. McCoy is acting like a big baby. He didnt get disrespected. He was playing below par levels. He produced fair results. Not stellar. If he was asked to take a pay cut, a tre home town fellow would have taken it in stride! He made his money over the years. Acting like he was owed something is ridiculous! We will see that his play will not be much better in Carolina. I had respect for this man before he left. His own reaction and words have tainted all of it. Big baby needs to put on his big boy pants and stop prancing around like a bitch in a Batman suit. Sick of the coddling this man is getting. Grow up, Gerald! You could have stayed a Buc. You chose not to. Even though Licht is the biggest moron in anybfront office, this has to be the bst decision in this situation. Gerald is a mediocre Buc at best. He doesnt belong in the ring of honor. Maybe they should add a “ring of dishonor” in every urinal at the stadium with Gerald’s name smack in it! I’m glad the Bucs gave Suh his number. It shows that the Bucs moved on and so will I. Gerald had the chance to stay. His inability to take a pay cut shows his selfishness. I think GMC could have even suggested it himself. He could have volunteered to take the pay cut, which many pro athletes have done for THEIR HOME TOWN TEAMS! I’M CALLING GERALD A LOAD OF BS!

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  3. PS.
    His pay rate now reflects the proof of his potential and the respect he deserves…. lower and less!

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  4. Well Scott, at least YOU admit it. This franchise has had a history of..Bad breakups..the way they have done good players. And for the most part, it came back to bite us in the Butt in the form of that player either winning a championship or having steller yrs they did not..have with the Bucs. And lets face it, MOST..losing teams don’t..have Great players. And I personally do not blame GMC for wanting his money. Hell, I would too!My guess is the Bucs offer was extremely low ball for him and he left. And yes, we could have handled the situation a hella lot better. But its all water under the bridge. As I’ve repeated countless times, Let hope and pray we start winning so…The fans do not have to single out a couple of fresh scapegoats every year.Losing teams do this..you know..every single year. Please start winning Bucs..PLEASE?

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  5. “I believe the reason why he didn’t take a pay cut wasn’t over dollars and cents, rather it was about his perceived value to the team. I’m guessing McCoy believed he was worth $13 million in principle, and due to his importance within the organization and his longevity with the franchise, he shouldn’t have to take a pay cut.”

    “His perceived value”? The Bucs haven’t made the playoffs the whole time he was here. If $13 million gets you one of the consistently softest defenses in NFL History (that he always said he was the leader of and a team/unit tends to take on the personality of it’s leader ) and out of playoff contention by late October most years, how much would he think he would be worth if they had won the Super Bowl? Granted, he only played a part in the Buccaneers ineptitude, it wasn’t all his fault, but we can NOT make the playoffs without him and save all or part of that salary and hopefully get players who can get us somewhere other than the basement.

    And don’t give me this BS about what a good guy he is, what a forgiving Christian he is when he could’ve gone anywhere and he chose to stay in the division with a team that’s having it’s own problems for probably what he would’ve made here if had taken the pay cut. It’s all about revenge. F*ck McCoy.

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    Rating: +22. From 34 votes.
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  6. You could wipe your ass with an entire roll of tp and it still wouldn’t be as soft as gerald is. The dude is a child I’m a mans body, good riddance. If he wants to learn disrespect and bad fan response, tell him to look at any article with Jameis in it. Glad hes a panther, if I’m the bucs im running right at his soft ass every other play. And if it wasnt about the money as he says, hed still be here.
    As for trades, that DE from the jags is holding out as well. Averages 8.5 sacks a year and is only 24. Make a move and grab him bucs.
    As for next years draft way to early to tell, but I am not a Tua fan. I would take from over him all day. Look at Tua the second half of the season when Alabama actually played someone. He was average at best. Easy to look good when bamas schedule is as soft as gerald. You want a qb ,you bomb 2 years from now for trevorLawrence, that kid is special,

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  7. I know most are sick of reading about GMC – it’s been the 2nd biggest offseason story next to hiring of Arians. The Bucs and specifically Licht could have reported that a salary cut was offered but instead said “no comment” and that their conversations with him would remain private. They did this out of RESPECT for GMC……many of us would have jumped off his bandwagon months ago had we known.

    Lastly, in regards to the Ring of Honor, he’s presumptuous as well as clueless…….he is way down on the list behind Nickerson, Rice, Kiffin, Wilder, etc, and I dont recall any of the existing honorees that left here to play (or coach) for a division rival. It will take this Bucs fan several years to get over that decision.

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  8. This is the exact reason I don’t understand why a contract value escalates as the player ages instead of decreases. Is it to set up the organization with a justifiable reason to release a player before the contract expires? Maybe Macabee can help explain this.

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    • Bucianco, it depends on whether a contract is front-loaded or back-loaded. Remember the contract value or worth is the same for the duration of the contract. What may differ is how it’s paid. And no employment contract can be changed without the agreement of the parties – either express (in writing or verbally agreed to) or implied (by the actions of the parties).

      The idea of front-loading contracts is simple. You pay a player for his good years and as the contract goes on, the salary decreases. The concept is not meant to save anyone money and it does decrease short term payroll flexibility, but can benefit a team in the latter years of a deal. Usually front-loaded contracts have a big signing bonus with workout and roster bonuses included in the early term of the contract

      A back-loaded contract is just the opposite. Agreement or arrangement in which the heavier charges are levied, or greater benefits accrue, towards the end of its duration or term. A signing bonus may have been given, but is spread over the term which requires more money is paid at the end. Think of it like a jumbo mortgage loan where the payments are lower at the beginning and one large payment (jumbo) is due at the end. The house may be sold before the jumbo is due.

      Typically back-loaded contracts whose payments increase over time may not to go to term. They are usually 2nd contracts given to veteran or ageing players whose play may decline over the term of the contract. The contract is terminated before it reaches maturity. NFL player contracts are not guaranteed. Only the money is guaranteed. Do not be misled. A 5 year contract where the money is only guaranteed in the first 2 years is really a 2 year contract. Actually, an NFL contract can be terminated the day after it is signed, only the guaranteed money must be paid.

      Contracts can be normal – neither frontloaded nor backloaded. It depends on the team practice or MO, whether the player is a rookie or veteran, term of contract or cap space. Go Bucs!

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  9. McCoy comes off as very petty in this whole situation. He was a good/occasionally great player in Tampa, but not an all-timer. Fourth in sacks, one all pro, and zero playoff appearances are not enough to warrant getting your jersey retired. Be happy for the $100M+ the Glazers paid for your services and stop talking about being disrespected.

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  10. Could article Scott. I am puzzled though as to why you thought it was necessary to bring up next year’s 2020 first draft pick to be a quarterback? I see no reason at this point in time why Winston will not be our quarterback in 2020.

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  11. McCoy is a jackass. He looks ridiculous. All about stupid constumes and image. He is soft as a baby’s ass and he is a big cry baby. Good riddance.

    Dotsons comment it’s little better on the knee doesn’t make me feel good. If they have any money left they would be nuts not to spend it on O line!

    Another RB sure I get that but that and DE is not nearly as critical imo.

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  12. I’m not going to make a comment about McCoy. He’s gone, and there isn’t any point in saying anymore. I will comment about Dotson though. We should’ve picked Risner in the second round. I think he would’ve been an immediate upgrade at RT. Dotson is supposedly healthy this year, but mark my words, he won’t last the season. Truth be told he was done last year. Thinking they can make a rode trip on that bald tire could prove dangerous. Don’t like any of Scott’s trade proposals. Big mistake not picking Henderson in the 3rd round this year trading the pick to L.A.. The Rams have one of the best backs in the NFL, and saw his value. We had one of the worst rushing attacks in the league, with no star in the backfield, and Licht let a steal in the 3rd round go to the Rams. Not replacing Dotson, and not drafting Henderson IMO was a big mistake this year.

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  13. Oh one other point. Dotson said Warhop drove the point home that the O line needed to finish better, but for some reason we didn’t listen. We’ve all given Warhop grief for being a bad coach, but this sounds like the players have a big hand in not getting the job done. We have a lot of money invested in Smith, Marpet, and Jensen. It’s time to live up to your contracts big fella’s, No more excuses, no more hiding behind bad coaching.

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  14. Yo McKoy is Robin without Batman & the rest of the Justice league. He was never Sapp. Ownership never put consistent coaches & scheme along with teammates that he needed. He needs grow up & realize he is rotational player with the Panthers. He got off field honors while in Tampa by default. I like either RB if waived. Peterson at a discount & contract restructure, due to his suspension. Leave the Collins kid alone way to many what ifs. Who cares about mock draft next year. Jake Fromm? Maybe if Jameis gets in more alleged misconduct trouble. This is after the Kraft double standard in Jupiter Florida during playoff run last year with video tape proof with human traffiking investigations on going. The difference between Black QB & white owner.

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  15. It wasn’t about money? It was about his perceived value to the team? So, how is that not about money? So, if the Bucs had offered McCoy 15 million per year, he would have said, “Thanks, guys! I just wanted to know how much I was worth to you. I don’t need that much. Five million per year is enough.”
    And, what is it that McCoy doesn’t understand about non-guaranteed money? The Bucs were under no obligation to pay him 13 million a year. That’s why the money was not guaranteed.

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  16. McCoy says,“Well, six Pro Bowls, All-Pro four times – this is Tampa Bay, and I’m one of the best players to ever play in the organization. I’m going to say it. Usually I wouldn’t, so what? It kind of shows the respect and how they feel about me. I think it does.”

    He is right.

    For nine years McCoy, as team captain and a so called team leader, led one of the worst defenses in the NFL never raising the play or inspiring any of his fellow teammates.
    It took BA to play two games against the Bucs and awhile to watch game film to diagnose what one of the core problems was.
    That’s why MeShawn Jackson and McCoy are no longer here.

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  17. Agree Jackson not worth trouble and McCoy is a rotation player. He will be cut 2020 by panthers after he misses few games 2019 with injury, is average against run, and maybe gets 3-5 sacks.

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  18. If you think Mccoy is good value for 8 million panthers gave him your an idiot. I hate the Panthers and pouty cry baby Cam who is horrible passer when run isn’t working great and inconsistent.

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  19. Well….maybe Scott.

    Maybe this was all part of some grand scheme Jason Licht has been hatching for years. Maybe he has always wanted Suh instead of McCoy and has been searching for the optimal moment to pull the string and make the switch. Maybe he purposely let Suh pass by last time around because his deep analysis of the situation was that the timing wasn’t right. Maybe he brilliantly used the offer of a salary cut, knowing McCoy would refuse, so that he could blame everything on McCoy – “I tried really hard to keep him but he was just so darn greedy that we had to let him go”. Maybe he knew that Suh would never be able to refuse his $9m offer to come and play for the Bucs, as he toyed with McCoy completely confident in the unveiling of his master plan. Maybe.

    Or maybe, he got caught with his pants down (having never planned for the possibility that the contract HE made with McCoy for $13m might become a problem some day)…and maybe he expected McCoy to take a pay cut (as you said it never seemed to be about money, so maybe Licht thought it wouldn’t be – certainly not for $3-5m as you say)…and maybe McCoy’s refusal came as a shock to Licht….and maybe he was forced to call Suh’s agent and make an offer, higher than any other team would offer, so as to not have egg on his face….because maybe, Suh refused the first low-ball offer (or two)….maybe.

    One of those stories fits nicely with the 5-year track record of our GM, and was doesn’t….but maybe…

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  20. Hmmm maybe, or Maybe McCoy stinks and is soft and Arians didn’t want him. Maybe he was overpaid and his play last few years has declined. Maybe they were waiting to cut him but wanted to make sure didn’t hang themselves this year without enough DT depth…..

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  21. McCoy is gone and no need to trash him.
    Like I said before I wish him the best except when he’s playing the Bucs.

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  22. I think you guys are all wrong. The Bucs are a bad team. Sorry guys, but its true. There’s no conceivable path for them to win a Super Bowl in the next 5 years. Hell, I don’t even think they have much of a chance of making the playoffs any time soon. That’s why the bucs have to overpay for free agents every year. If I’m Gerald McCoy (or anybody else), why would I stay in Tampa for the same money that I can get from a better team? I laughed out loud when Scott wrote: “In essence, McCoy brought this all on himself. Had he taken the pay cut … McCoy would be a Buccaneer and not a Panther today”. Brought what on himself Scott? The chance to win more than 6 games and play in the playoffs for the first time in his career?

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  23. It’s a very bad look for him. Had the Panthers offered up $13m then he has a valid point. They didn’t and he doesn’t. I like him off the field, but on it…nah

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  24. I have moved on from McCoy, although I hold no ill will toward him. It’s a business and I wish him the best. I am a bit concerned about our running game and I like Duke Johnson. His history with BA works and a mid round pick is reasonable. This Collins kid is interesting. Way too early to name draft prospects. Finally one of my all time favorite college players, Clowney is way too expensive for Buc’s.

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  25. fredster your response seems to be directed at my post, but makes no sense.

    First off, my post says nothing about whether McCoy “stinks” or is “soft” or whether BA wanted or didn’t want him. Nor do i comment on whether he was “overpaid” or had “declined” in skill. All of those things you allude to could be true…and that doesn’t change the point of my post: that this wasn’t some great master plan by Licht to replace McCoy with Suh.

    If, as you say, Licht was just “waiting to cut [McCoy] but wanted to make sure didn’t hang themselves this year without enough DT depth”….then why didn’t he just do that?….why the charade of offering a salary cut? If, as you claim, Licht absolutely did not want McCoy…thought he had “declined”, was “soft”, “stinks” even….then why go through the process of trying to renegotiate something to get him to stay?????????????

    It may be that McCoy “stinks” – I’m not making any comment on that one way or the other. But to suggest that this all came together just as the brilliant Jason Licht had planned, is ludicrous!

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  26. Scott I’m not sure why you keep reminding us of how bad Licht wanted to sign Suh but some how settled for McCoy, when Suh was available at the start of the offseason. If they wanted Suh that badly as you say why even make McCoy an offer to begin with. Instead they let this thing fester out of control as we went through FA and through the draft and into mini camp. This all could have been avoided if we would have released McCoy back in February. Okay yes Licht has the responsibility to try to find a trade partner or maybe you could get a 4th or 5th round pick but even that decision comes with a deadline in mind. Instead they let McCoy drag this all the way out until the end of May and what did we get for it in return? Nothing! Nothing but a disgruntled ex Buc on National TV making a fool of himself. Could McCoy have handled this situation better? Everybody knows the answer to that question. But what about BA & Licht don’t you think they bare some blame for this mess? What about their comments the week of the Owners Meeting with their non committal statements about his lack of production, or the no show during OTA’s for fear of injury guaranteeing the 13 mil. Then BA comes out and says about McCoy “He’s welcome here with open arms” knowing full well that was only contingent on if he signed the reduced offer sheet. I’m relieved McCoy is finally gone but our Front Office botched this from the beginning and there is no covering for that.

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  27. I like making a trade for Duke Johnson. Loved him at Miami and think he could add a second RB to the group that’s proven he can play.

    Would also add O line help, possibly a replacement for JPP. Patrick Peterson at 29 is still a heck of a player, just not excited about the suspension.

    Also, I love Cam Brate, but for the right price – meaning a player we need or high enough 2020 pick….. Patriots are an obvious destination…..

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  28. Scott: this is one of the best articles you’ve ever written. Spot on with all of the McCoy stuff. Vintage Pewter Report. Well done.

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  29. No need to chime in. My opinion of Gerald “Excuse Cannon” McCoy and his legion of apologists is well established.

    I’ve always admired the FEROCIOUSNESS of Suh’s game. I prayed Detroit would pass on him in the draft. Oh well, he didn’t but he’s finally a Buc.

    It’s a new day in Tampa Bay and it’s back to intimidating DEFENSE. David, White, Vea, Suh, Barrett, Nassib, and 26 cornerbacks should be fun to watch this year!

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  30. @Shuster : I get what you are saying and you aren’t wrong about the Bucs being a poorly run organization. That being said, how many times have the Bucs had a lead late in the game and we needed a sack or a turnover or a stop or SOMETHING and there’s #93 playing pattycake with whatever O-Lineman he is paired against, giving Brees/Newton/Ryan/whoever all the time in the world to get the go ahead score? He likes to say he’s Batman but whenever we really needed him, he was the Invisible Man.

    He’ll probably have a career year with the Panthers. And everyone will ask how could the Bucs let him go? I’ll be asking where was that when he wore the pewter and red?

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  31. McCoy didn’t want to take a home town discount. McCoy didn’t want to meet with the coaching staff. McCoy didn’t want to lead the defense. Connecting the dots what this tells me is that McCoy needs to focus less on perceiving himself as some type of “Batman” when he is acting like a Robin in reality.

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  32. Quick question – if nobody from the Buccaneers contacted McCoy how in the hell was there any possible way he was asked to take a pay cut?

    I dont think they wanted him around at all. The whole idea of swapping out McCoy for Suh was about changing the culture in the clubhouse.

    A soft ass McCoy is still a soft ass McCoy regardless of his salary.

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  33. Remember that one time that Gerald made a game changing play in the 4th quarter?

    Yeah…me neither

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  34. Shuster and Ass should go find a Bridge to live under together. I think they could really make each other Happy. Must be a sad life to be a Troll. I guess if you had a kick ass Bridge it wouldn’t be completely miserable, but all the Negativity would cause Blood Pressure issues and I’m not sure there is any ObamaTroll Healthcare plans available. At least they could keep each other Happy talking trash about anything people like and pretending their opinion matters to anyone but themselves.

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  35. Fredster, great comment. Now the Panthers have a big baby on both sides of the balls.
    If you want to see how a real football player plays, look at the Steelers-Panthers game last year.
    JJ Watts younger brother, who plays OLB for the Steelers, went right for Cams throwing shoulder on a sack in the first half of the game. Cam wasn’t the same for the rest of the game or the season.
    If you don’t think there are a big number of players in the NFL who wouldn’t have done the same thing, you are naive.
    Does anyone thing Geraldine, who is said idolize Cam, would have done the same.

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  36. First thing these kids learn coming from college to the pros is that the NFL is a huge and successful business. In fact, it’s common knowledge that the N-F-L stands for “not for long”. McCoy wanted/demanded respect due to his longevity with team and his Pro Bowls with the team. But respect has to be earned before it can be given. McCoy saw the writing on the wall. JPP called him out and his teammates did not believe he should be a team captain. For me, as a former player, this is the most crucial knock on McCoy. How can you be a 9 year vet for your team with several Pro Bowls and yet your teammates don’t think you should be a team captain! Nuff said. McCoy was soft. Mentally and physically. Suh brings an entirely different vibe to the DL. He is feared! He doesn’t tell the other teams to fear him because he is the dominant alpha male but they do! It’s because he EARNED it! Good or bad! There was trouble brewing with McCoy. He knew it and the team knew it. Salary exceeds production! Nothing personal Gerald, it’s just business. The Bucs replaced you with a more dominant player for 3 1/2 million less. Feelings aside that’s just good business… I’m just saying

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  37. I don’t have a problem with the Licht trying to get whatever he could get in a trade for McCoy and exhausting every avenue before releasing him. What I do have a problem with, however, is local media like PR saying the team owes nothing at all to a player and the only consideration is what’s good for the organization with no other care being given besides the bottom line. This is completely hypocritical because EVERY time a player takes a stand regarding contract demands and uses every means at his disposal to maximize his income, including holding out and/or demanding a trade, local media get all worked up about it. Typically they resort to saying things like the player “owes” the organization because they’ve been so “good” to him over the years. Or they’ll bitch about how the player is making life difficult for the team by being so stringent in pursuing circumstances that are of maximum benefit to his position and of minimum benefit to the franchise. This kind of hypocrisy is what pisses me off. If one side can pursue their own interests and damn the consequences, then the players can do the same WITHOUT having their character questioned in the media. If you question a player’s character and his decision to exercise every right at his disposal, then you BETTER DAMN WELL criticize the organization when it does the same thing. Local media should be balanced in its approach, and if not then it’s our right as readers to question their integrity just as they question that of certain players whom they deem to be unbalanced in their demands or actions.

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  38. @bucballer: What you stated says it all in my view. JPP called out McCoy, (albeit showing him some respect by not mentioning his name). The team didn’t elect McCoy as a Captain. Bruce Arians and staff’s evaluated his film and concluded that the former #93 wasn’t worth his lofty salary. Evidently some conversations took place with McCoy’s agent about a potential pay reduction that was refused. That set the team’s course of action. Nothing more to say Geraldini.

    Seems to me, McCoy should have apologized and returned some of the salary he didn’t earn. A player is not worth respect and over-compensation simply because he believes he’s special. He rested on his laurels long enough. Gerald should admit, as the song goes, “I ain’t as good as I once was” or that Jeff Foxworthy one liner, “I used to could”.

    I’ll be in London for the Bucs “home” game against the Panthers. Sure will be nice to see Geraldini and Cam Poutin sobbing with the towels over their heads.

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  39. Scubog… “I ain’t as good as I once was” classic quote bro! Good one!

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  40. I agree with most everything posted above on McCoy. I thought McCoy was a good player but never a great player. He was Never Close to being one of the Best Bucs Ever.I respected him till now. I lost ALL respect. Just another spoiled overpaid (All are not overpaid, McCoy was) NFL player that thinks his worth more then he was. He NEVER elevated the Defense with his play.EVER! I remember one game in 9 YEARS he got a sack in the 4th Qtr to close out a game. ONE N 9 YEARS AND HE FEELS DISRESPECTED? Glad he left now. Bucs paid him over $100 Million and he feels disrespected? He was NEVER worth the last contract he got. He doesn’t even deserve to wear Robins tights. Ring of Honor? Hahaha What a joke. I could care less if he ever comes back to visit when he’s retired. Actually Don’t Come Back!!!
    GO BUCS!!!

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  41. Why are we still writing, and posting, about McCoy? What about this quote from Dotson –

    “It’s [the knee injury] a little better now, though. I worked hard all offseason trying to rehab it… It’s something I have to stay on top of. It’s not going to get back to 100 percent. Hopefully they take care of me a little bit in training camp and give me some rest here and there and I can preserve it as best I can for the season.”

    Ladies & gentlemen, that is your soon to be 34 yr old starting RT talking, after we completely ignored the OL in the draft. Is anyone here paying any attention? Oh, yeah let’s talk about RBs we should trade for…

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  42. Enjoyed reading, Scott. Well-worded commentary on the GMC affairs this week.

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  43. I was all about McCoy when we drafted him. Always had his back, but then you started to see that he was more concerned about being a nice guy, being seen as batman, and apologizing to qbs for hitting them.. . He did a lot of good things in the community and that imo is more important than his accomplishments on the field, but when you’re talking about Gerald McCoy the football player, I would have to say he never lived up to be the player he could have been because he never played with aggression. He never was clutch, he never made the play when we needed him too, and our defense was never in the top 10 when he was here. Hell Chris hovan and Jovan Hayes were on more highly touted defenses than McCoy. Granted we had Monte kiffin, but none the less they still were a part of a higher ranked defense. Bottom line is McCoy was asked to take a pay cut, refused, and the bucs moved on to suh who fits our new scheme significantly more than McCoy. suh brings the alpha dog vibe that a true Batman brings rather than the side kick boy wonder vibe that McCoy brought. McCoy can feel disrespected all he wants. He’s a cry baby. Always has been, always will be. Him and Newton can play super girl and boy wonder together like McCoy has always wanted.

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  44. I wish McCoy good luck in Carolina except for the two games vs the Bucs. I have posted my opinion on him several times as won’t rehash it again

    McCoy has created all this drama and for what. It has made him look petty and selfish. The whole interview he contradicted himself. The new coach never talked to him but they did. They never wanted to renegotiate but he admitted they did. so on and so on. Man let it go. The Bucs have moved on so should McCoy and ball washers in the media (not PR) who are all butt hurt because he is no longer here.

    Lets focus on the guys who are here, cheer for the guys who are here and hope this season is better that the last two.

    Go Bucs

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  45. Boy, Reading what McCoy said really set me off yesterday. Stuff like that just makes me less of a fan of sports. Some players only really care about there team if there making enough money or get some amount of respect they think they deserve. As soon as they think there disrespected, they mouth off about the team that us Fans love which just makes it hard to care about them as a Fan. Yeah owners only worry about the team (most of the time) but it’s hard to be a Fan when some players only worry about themselves then the Fans that that really pay there salary by supporting there teams. Yeah not all the money comes directly from the Fans but without Fans there is no money for any of them. Over time i will probably welcome him back but still glad he is gone. GO BUCS!!!

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  46. Macabee, nice explanation of contract law. You write like a teacher of business law.

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  47. Bucballer- but I’m as good once as I always was.

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  48. Do you want some cheese with that whine? Yes Mr. McCoy you were a great player and a credit to Tampa Bay area. And yes the fans supported you. Other Buccaneer players have made sacrifices to stay with the team and guess what, they did not act like 5 year olds in doing so. You can not tell me that you could not have worked out some solution to this paycut debacle with the team if you wanted to stay. Yes I know I do not know the whole story. What I do know is that communication is key. Apparently that was not an option with you. As far as your number 93 is concerned, Suh also wore 93, so what? It happens every day in the NFL in case you have not noticed. You are a Panther now so move on, grow up and good luck. Thanks for all you did here in Tampa Bay. If you really want to stick it to the Bucs and the fans and I know you do, just reject your induction to the Ring of Honor when asked!!!

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  49. So Scott acted like a typical asshole reporter asking a misleading question designed to make a player no longer with the team look bad, so that he can keep up his “team access” by sucking up to the current Bucs regime and dickhead “fans” who aren’t fit to polish McCoy’s ass.

    Here is the real question that was obviously the reasoning behind McCoy’s reaction, just as he said, but with less specificity:

    Bucs offered McCoy a “pay cut” rather than a “restructure”.

    So what is the difference, and why is it significant?

    A pay cut is just that – a cut in pay, and no other compensating factors offered to induce the player to accept the pay cut. A pay cut is total disrespect heaped upon the player.

    A restructures is also just that: a pay cut in the short term, but with incentives to possibly earn back the original pay, in return for an extended contract. Which is precisely what a team would do when they respect the player and value his contributions to the team, both past and future.

    Obviously the money was not the issue – it was the total lack of respect shown by the jerkoff who run the Bucs these days.

    I expect to get dozens of downvotes from the typical asshole Bucs fans here who have no class and disrespect everyone who is no longer with the team, no matter how much they have contributed/

    I don’t care – downvote me and my comment all you like. I wear it like a badge of honor.

    There is no honor at Pewter Report, and there is no honor among the majority of the commenters at Pewter Report, as witnessed by the comments so many, but not all, post here, about McCoy.

    Meh – that’s typical behavior for people that call themselves sports fans. No honor, no class, just rah rah boosterism.

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  50. Took me a while to get over the Bucs giving away Nickersons #56. Especially to a league average player. His number should not have been giving to anyone. He’s a legend on the Bucs and his number should be retired. But that’s my opinion

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