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The Trial Of Gerald McCoy

Court is in session and it’s time to decide whether or not Gerald McCoy should return to the Buccaneers

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

All rise for the honorable Judge Yarcho. Court is now in session.

You may be seated. It is time to hear from the defense and prosecution regarding case number 93, the Nation of Bucs vs. Gerald McCoy.

Gentlemen, I don’t envy you your job. There are people outside this courthouse on both sides of the fence. Some believe in the case of the prosecution, others the defense. The time has come to settle this once and for all.

We will hear first from the prosecution, stating their case to the city as to why it is time to move on from Mr. McCoy for the betterment of the Buccaneers. Mr. Harrison, you have the floor;

*David Harrison*

“The Buccaneers should not keep Gerald McCoy. As I outlined in my “Bang for their Bucs” series, he simply didn’t live up to his salary, and I highly doubt he’s going to be willing to accept a pay cut in 2019.

That being said, he’s too expensive and just doesn’t bring enough to the table. I like him. I really do. But the fact he’s got the ‘quickest get-off’ in the league just isn’t scaring anyone. If the Bucs move to a 3-4 base, there’s even less reason to keep him.

Freeing up money earmarked for him in 2019 gives Jason Licht and Bruce Arians more flexibility in free-agency, and with Vita Vea’s development over the 2018 season, it makes sense to give him a shot at taking hold of the defensive center.

Tampa Bay finally had a double-digit sack leader after 12 seasons without one. It wasn’t McCoy.

The Bucs haven’t had a double-digit win season since 2010, the same year McCoy was drafted. He is literally the only member of the 2010 roster still playing in Tampa Bay. He has yet to be a part of getting this team double-digit wins since, and there’s no reason to believe he will be now.”

Thank you, Mr. Harrison. Mr. Winter, please, present your case.

*Evan Winter*

“No, the Bucs should not keep Gerald McCoy - unless he is willing to take a major pay cut.

There is too much defensive talent in the draft and there is enough in FA to supplant the loss of McCoy. While the Bucs would lose an excellent player and someone who offenses routinely account for, he is just too expensive for a cap-strapped Tampa Bay squad.

The Bucs will also likely move to a 3-4 base on defense, which means he’d likely move to DE in the scheme. Again, a $13.5 million hit is way too much, especially when you consider the fact that only three 3-4 DEs make more than that amount.

McCoy is one of my favorite players, I own his jersey, but I just don’t see how he fits into Tampa Bay’s plans for 2019 and beyond.”

And, finally, Mr. Salvarezza. Please, state your case for the court.

*Alex Salvarezza*

“I would not keep Gerald McCoy at the current price tag of $13 million for next season. The production just simply doesn’t match up to the cap hit anymore.

I’ve been the biggest McCoy supporter over the years, but I think the time has come for both to go their separate ways. The Buccaneers could use that $13 million on several different areas that they currently lack on both sides of the ball including the offensive line and the secondary. Now, one can argue that cutting McCoy would create another hole on the defensive line, but with the stacked defensive line class in the 2019 draft *cough cough Ed Oliver*, I don’t think that should be a main concern.

If McCoy is willing to take a pay cut, I’m all for keeping him, but to me, it’s just time.”

Thank you, gentlemen. Now, we have two strong cases for the defense, beginning with Mr. Adams. Mr. Adams, you have the floor.

*Bailey Adams*

“I’m personally struggling with the idea of the Bucs letting Gerald McCoy go. I understand the potential reasons behind it. The cap hit of $13 million is a big one, and if new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles wants to run with a 3-4 base, that cap hit becomes even more difficult to justify. In terms of whether he fits in with a scheme change, here’s what McCoy had to say:

I do believe that McCoy would be productive in any scheme. He is a good football player, despite what his detractors have been saying about him for years. On top of that, cutting a guy like him would open up yet another hole on a roster that is already full of them. The defense itself is already needing upgrades/additions at linebacker and in the secondary. The team would also be smart to add an edge rusher or two. That’s without getting into the need for upgrades on the other side of the ball.

So, having to replace McCoy on top of all of that? I’m just not feeling it. In an ideal situation, the Bucs would be able to get the veteran to restructure his contract. If anyone would agree to it, wouldn’t it be Gerald McCoy? The guy just wants to finally win some games, and it seems like he wants to do that in Tampa with the Buccaneers. But even if he won’t restructure, I’m sticking with him. I realize that’s an unpopular opinion these days, but to me, the cons of cutting him outweigh the pros.”

Very interesting, Mr. Adams. Very interesting indeed. Finally, Mr. Marchant.

*Jon Marchant*

Tampa Bay should keep McCoy if they can. Pushing a restructuring of his contract could be risky, but McCoy is still a good player. As long as he doesn’t want a change of scenery to an immediate contender, the Bucs should have a chance to retain him, and they should try to do so.

The key here is the new coaching staff.

The Bucs have largely wasted McCoy’s career, but it’s not too late to get meaningful snaps out of him. If they can use him correctly, putting him in better position to make plays, he can still be the centerpiece of a very good unit. As always, they still need more talent around him. After Mike Smith was fired and Mark Duffner was promoted to defensive coordinator the Bucs’ adjusted sack rate climbed much higher.

McCoy was still disruptive even if he didn’t rack up numbers, and it was clear opponents were still game-planning around him. However, the pass rush still wasn’t where it needs to be if Tampa Bay wants to go deep in the playoffs. One more top-flight edge rusher to pair with Jason Pierre-Paul would be ideal, plus depth that can actually stay healthy. If opponents are going to continue to double-team McCoy Tampa Bay needs the players that can consistently make opponents pay for it.

The last part here that tips the scales to keeping McCoy is that the Bucs still have numerous holes to fill, especially on defense, and will be learning new schemes on both sides of the ball. The soon-to-be 31-year old may not be an elite tackle anymore and his time with Tampa Bay may be coming to an end sooner or later. And he may or may not have been the type of leader the team needed for all these years, but he’s still very good and very valuable on the field. Simply put, even at 31 players like McCoy don’t come around very often, and replacing him would be much harder than it seems. He’s the type of talent Tampa Bay can’t afford to lose just yet.”

Thank you, Mr. Marchant.

That was compelling stuff, gentlemen. It seems all of you would be on the same side should Mr. McCoy be willing to work for less money. Unfortunately, that is not something the court foresees happening.

Mr. McCoy has been a bright light in a decade of darkness around One Buc. One of the few players fans can consistently hang their hat on and be proud of. One of the few players opposing teams - and their fans - audibly discuss fearing. No matter how you personally feel about him, there is no questioning the impact he had both on the field and within the community.

His play was top level, his smile infectious, and his status within the walls of the locker room was among the highest we’ve seen in this century. Honestly, he reminds me of Lee Roy Selmon a little - an incredible player on bad team after bad team, but never without a smile or a helping hand.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Every sports fan knows that. They know that at some point, their favorite players or the most impactful players can’t quite get the job done anymore and it’s time to move on.

Is that Gerald McCoy? Can he not do it anymore? On that, I don’t know.

As far as this case, it is the court’s decision to rule in favor of the prosecution. The money is no longer justifiable and without a restructuring, it is in the Buccaneers’ best interest to wish Mr. McCoy the best of luck for the remaining years of his career. If a trade is an option, do him a solid. Give him his choice of the teams interested in his services or send him to a team that will contend in 2019.

It’s the right thing to do.

Court is adjourned.


Was This The Right Ruling?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Yes, I love Gerald but the money needs to be spent elsewhere
    (231 votes)
  • 38%
    No, Gerald should not wear any uniform but Tampa Bay’s, no matter the cap hit
    (144 votes)
375 votes total Vote Now