The Gerald McCoy saga is over as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Monday that they released the six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who spent the past nine seasons with the organization.
McCoy, the third overall pick in 2010 NFL Draft, had three years left on his contract which called for him to make $13 million in base pay this season. The original contract was for six years and $95.2 million.
“These decisions are very difficult, personally and professionally,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. “Over the past nine years, Gerald has been a cornerstone of this franchise and a leader in our community. Parting ways with a player and person such as Gerald is one of the toughest responsibilities of this job. We wish Gerald, along with his wife, Ebony, and the entire McCoy family continued success and thank them for everything they have meant to our organization and community.”
After the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud originally reported the news, ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted that the Bucs tried for two months to find a trade partner, but when it was clear there was none, the two sides “mutually parted ways.”
The 31-year-old McCoy has been a pillar on otherwise subpar defenses for most of his career in Tampa.
Earlier this month, McCoy voiced his displeasure with trade rumors while skipping voluntary workouts.
“I will be playing football somewhere,” McCoy told a local reporter at the time. When asked where that would be, McCoy said, “I don’t know. We’ll see.”
First-year coach Bruce Arians didn’t get to coach McCoy but wished him well.
“I know Gerald has done a lot of good things on and off the football field in Tampa during his time here,” Arians said in a statement. “You hate to see good football players go, but this is a decision that we felt needed to be made in order to allow us, and Gerald, the ability to move forward. Gerald is a class act and I wish him the best.”
Drafted out of Oklahoma in 2010, McCoy has 296 tackles, 54.5 sacks, 140 quarterback hits, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 123 career games.
–Field Level Media