The inevitable has happened in Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have informed veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy that he will be released, per Tampa Bay Times’ reporter Rick Stroud. The decision to release McCoy means the Buccaneers passed up on paying him $13-million for the 2019 season.
In recent weeks, McCoy has been at the center of conversation when it comes to Tampa Bay and cap relief, as the Buccaneers remain one of the most cap-stricken teams in the National Football League. Tampa Bay ranked second to last in cap space, with the Minnesota Vikings being the 32nd team in least amount of cap room.
The decision to release McCoy brings up major questions about the Buccaneers’ front seven, as defensive end/outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a serious neck injury just weeks ago and could miss most of the 2019 season. Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will have a lot of re-tooling to do, as they’re left with Carl Nassib, William Gholston and Vita Vea being the main returners when it comes to experience.
For McCoy, it becomes a bitter end to his time in Tampa Bay as the former Oklahoma lineman has spent his entire professional career as a Buccaneer. McCoy recently answered to questions about his work ethic and had posted videos on social media showing despite not being with the team for voluntary OTAs, he is still working out regardless.
A name floating around as a possible replacement is former Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who played in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense last season. Both Suh and McCoy were No. 2 and No. 3 in the 2010 NFL Draft, respectively. Tampa Bay held out for much of this time in hopes to find a trade partner for McCoy, as some rumors were out that the Cleveland Browns were a potential match.
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