There has been a lot of speculation recently that the Buccaneers could move on from their veteran defensive tackle. Despite nothing coming out confirming this, there have been enough murmurings and hints that could lead one to believe that this could end up being a reality.
Jenna Laine even stated in a recent article that there is a real chance he could be released this offseason and cited the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would save $13 million in cap space and that McCoy is owed no guaranteed money.
Gerald McCoy gave a locker room interview back in late December of last year, in which he thanked the Glazer family for giving him the opportunity and that they took him out of Oklahoma and gave him the opportunity to make a dream a reality.
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht further backed the possibility of moving on from Gerald McCoy by saying this when asked about the veteran defensive lineman’s future with the team,
“We have a lot of tough decisions to make. A lot of people have a lot of tough decisions to make. That’s moving forward here in the offseason. Right now, it’s about finding that head coach.”
Now, these subtle hints began surfacing before the season ended as Gerald McCoy had this to say around week 12,
“We’re blessed to have an opportunity to play this great game and play in this great league. Things haven’t gone the way they were supposed to go. I truly believe in what God’s plan is. I’m not saying it’s easy to deal with. I’m just going to keep playing, man.”
The Majority of Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans love Gerald McCoy and will be heartbroken to see a man who has done so much for the team and the community wearing another uniform. No one should think for one second that Gerald McCoy would not have 31 other teams looking at him immediately after hearing that Tampa moved on from him. However, as much as the larger portion of Bucs fans loves the veteran DT, there is a very large part of the fan base that made him feel unappreciated on a regular basis. Sadly, Gerald McCoy has had to come out, and publicly state this many times via social media.
Sadly, those who had smeared him on social media also overlook the fact that the 6-time Pro Bowler and 2013 First-Time All-Pro selected player had been a team captain every until 2018 since 2012. Not only has Gerald McCoy played through injuries that most NFL defensive tackles would have been placed on injured reserve with, had also recorded 50.5 sacks in 105 games. (These stats start at 2012) Averaging 6 or more sacks a season, over the past 5 years, and being considered one of the best 3 technique defensive tackles in the league, those, who call themselves fans and ridicule him on his social media or on social media in general, should be ashamed of themselves.
In what I consider a farewell speech from Gerald McCoy, he had this to say to every Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan,
“Regardless of what people say about me or whatever, I gave this organization everything I had, on the field and off the field. People don’t have the slightest idea what I gave.”
And I agree, most have no clue what this man did, and if Tampa does move on from him, I will still follow his career and forever respect this man as one of our own.