Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports went through some of the best and worst contracts in the NFL, and listed Gerald McCoy's among the worst. I'll give you what he has to say, and you can find my opinion after the jump.
Gerald McCoy, Bucs, DT, $6.85M: McCoy has yet to find his way in the NFL, with injuries derailing the 2009 first-round pick. The quick emergence of Ndamukong Suh didn't help much, either, and this given that McCoy is set to make roughly $20M in salary between 2013-2014, and his $11M average per year makes him the fourth-highest paid DT in the NFL, it's fair to say the Bucs need much more out of him.
If he can produce anything remotely close to Suh's rookie season and display more of an ability to explode into the backfield and collapse the pocket, then that changes everything. But he's being paid as one of the very best at what he does -- again, the fatal flaw of the compensation of the top eight picks or so under the old CBA -- and another lost season and people will start throwing around that B-word.
Well, people started to throw around the 'bust' word about three games into his career, but the only thing that makes him a bust so far is simply his injuries: he's missed too many games, and it took him a while to 'get' the NFL game. If McCoy can't stay healthy, this contract indeed is one of the worst in the NFL - but that's not really something you can blame anyone for. McCoy didn't exactly have a history of injury problems when he was drafted, and it's not at all clear whether his two torn biceps were avoidable or caused by a genetic issue. The harsh reality of the NFL is simply that if you're injured, you can't play - and that's been a major problem for McCoy.
But to suggest that he doesn't have the skills or talent to be one of the very best at what he does? Well, that suggests La Canfora didn't spend much time watching Gerald McCoy play football during the 2011 season. I can't exactly blame him, but McCoy was the cornerstone of the team's quality run defense and was getting in the backfield with some regularity as well. Referencing Suh is interesting, but slightly pointless: he wasn't exactly a disruptive force last season, and Suh's run defense has been consistently lacking throughout his career.
This could be a make-or-break year for McCoy, and it would be incredibly frustrating for the team, the fans and McCoy himself if he missed a bunch of games due to injury yet again. The defensive tackle has the talent to be the foundation of an NFL defense. And if that's what he becomes, this contract will look really good.