It has been a question in many Buccaneers fans minds really over the last year, but came on strong about three months ago. In fact, it got brought up to the front burner when Gerald McCoy himself seemed to say goodbye to Buccaneer fans at the end of last season, but since that day, there has been no resolution on whether or not McCoy will be with Tampa Bay for his 10th season.
#Bucs coach Bruce Arians when asked what the film says about Gerald McCoy: "He's not as disruptive as he was four years ago. But he's still pretty disruptive. He's still a good player."— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 26, 2019
#Bucs coach Bruce Arians on McCoy's status being up in the air. "Everbody's is. It's a what have you done for me lately business. It's hard. It's cold. That's it. What are you going to do for me now? We've got to find that out.''— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 26, 2019
After some of the comments that Bruce Arians made on Tuesday at the NFL Owners meetings, it seems that there are three outcomes for Gerald McCoy if you read into what he said.
The first is to simply be released. This would give Tampa Bay $13-million in cap space and allow them to add another depth player or two as well as signing their own draft class.
The second option is for the Buccaneers to find a trade partner for McCoy, but with his age and cap number, it’s truly hard to see a team taking on his contract without getting a draft pick in return. Trading McCoy would also save the team $13-million.
The final option for McCoy and the Buccaneers is to restructure his contract and have his cap number come way down. Now, I believe that this is likely Bruce Arians and Jason Licht’s favorite and most preferred outcome, but remember, it takes two sides to make a deal. With that being said, I simply don’t see any way that McCoy sticks around at his current price. The Buccaneers just simply can’t afford it.
We will see if McCoy shows up to next weeks off-season conditioning program that begins on April 1st as well as the minicamp that starts three days before the NFL draft to prove to the new staff that he still deserves to be a Buccaneer and one of the highest paid defensive tackles in the league.
But as of now, there are three options, a release, a trade, or a restructure and frankly, I think the only real option is a release.
Time will tell.