May 18, 2021

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Opinion Editorial: A Home Coming For Free Agent Gerald McCoy?

6 min read

Image Credits: Chuck Cook | USA TODAY Sports

In a February 20th, Rick Stroud article from the Tampa Bay Times titled “Gerald McCoy’s storybook ending? Playing in Super Bowl 55“,

He quotes Gerald McCoy from the Super Bowl LV podcast saying simply that he would love to end his career in Tampa, at the Super Bowl. Meaning with whichever of the two teams that make it there in 2021. Gerald elaborated,

“I had a buddy tell me the other day, ‘What a storybook ending to a career, man, if you were able to go to a team, play well enough to make it to a Super Bowl in Tampa and won it? Why else would you keep playing?’” He then continued, “If that’s not a way to end a story. And I was like, I know me. If I was able to win a Super Bowl in Tampa, I’m probably still going to play. I’ll know when I’m done, and I’m not done. But that would be great. You know why? Because most people go to a city, stay far off, some hotel. Man, I’m going home. Go sleep in my own bed. See my kids. Walk my dogs. All right, I’ve got to go back to the hotel now. That would be excellent.” 

He didn’t stop there. He then fell off deep into a Tampa Bay Buccaneers state of mind. Cannons going off in the background, swashbucklers leaping from ship to ship in a blade battle, and hand to hand combat. Not those swashbucklers, don’t get sidetracked on me here. If you picture it all in your mind as you read this, you can almost smell the cannon smoke, with a slight waft of sulfur coming through your A.C. vent and feel the sting of sweat and blood at the edges of your eyes. 

Sit back and enjoy the quotes of a Pirate longing for his home port.

“I’m from Oklahoma, and I was born and raised there, but I really became a man in the city of Tampa,” McCoy said. “So Tampa watched me grow up. I owe a lot to this city, and I’m always going to have love for this city. That ain’t going nowhere.” He went on to say, “Anybody who’s seen me this offseason in Tampa if you’ve caught me in the morning time when I’m getting ready to train — I probably shouldn’t say this, but I don’t really care because I control what I want to control — I still wear my Tampa gear to work out. I signed a one-year deal with Carolina. So technically, I’m a free agent, so I can wear what I want, so I still work out in my Tampa gear. It’s no hard feelings. I’m always going to be a Buccaneer regardless of how people feel. You can’t take that from me because of the time I put in and how I went about it, and I’m always going to feel like I’m a Buccaneer.” 

Almost gives you the chills, doesn’t it? 

Okay, it probably doesn’t, but it’s nice to hear a player being so loyal to where it all happened for him. I think he can see his home team being on the verge of something special. Tampa is still his home, and by the way, he talks about it, always will be. I also don’t think it’s by chance that he said all that after saying that he’s basically a free agent. He continued on with the lamentation of his career to this point and the possibility of what could be in the next couple of seasons. A playoff run, maybe even a Super Bowl as his NFL, and possibly his Buccaneer career, comes to its final sunset on the Bay.

“I don’t have a lot of time left. It’s rare. You have so many greats, even Hall of Famers, that never won a ring, but experienced the postseason,” McCoy said. “Not wearing a ring is not going to kill me. Obviously, why else do you play the game except to bring that trophy home? But just to experience the postseason. I don’t know what it’s like to prepare for an extra game. I don’t know what it’s like to have a bye week before you have to prepare for it. I think I’ve mastered the day after the last game of the season. I think I’ve got it down pat. No matter whose locker room I’m in, I’ve got that down pat. Exit interviews, I know how to finesse the line to be the first to talk to the coaches. I’ve got that down pat. I want to know what it’s like to say, ‘you know what? After that clock ticks zero in Week 17, this ain’t it. I’ve got to come to work tomorrow, not just to clean my locker out, but to get ready for a game. I just want to experience it.’” 

It sounds like a man with a burning desire trying to act like it’s not eating at him like it is.

Gerald clearly believes he should get to experience the postseason feel of it all. Who can blame him? Just his luck, he leaves, and all of a sudden, we are a good bet to make the playoffs once, maybe even twice in the next two seasons. Something that he has never done. The defense is on the road to being the best unit since the Super Bowl defense that destroyed Oakland, leading the Bucs to the Lombardi trophy, and that ring Gerald spoke about. He’s on the outside looking in, not all that different from a puppy in the window at the pet shop, that is longing for a passer-by to take notice, and choose him to take home. He wants to come home not just to live, but to work again, at 4201 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33607. I would like to believe it’s a possibility. It wasn’t his choice to leave at the time it was really the only way to go for this team. Funny how just one season removed the atmosphere is ripe for a return if Suh goes.

I’m just dreaming, but could you imagine the Bucs signing Gerald to a two-year contract for less than Suh was making?

He arguably had a better season, last year in Carolina, racking up 5 sacks, and 37 tackles. We wouldn’t have a fall off of talent, it would be an increase, or equal to, type of scenario. I hope it is something they are considering. It only makes sense if the money is right and doesn’t hurt our chances of re-signing Paul, and Barrett. You would be replacing an experienced veteran in the locker room, who has been a leader this past season, for another player of the same cloth in McCoy.

No matter where he ends up, Gerald McCoy will always be Buccaneer to many fans and had stated that he will most certainly retire a Buc. Honestly, It shouldn’t end in any other way. I believe it was said when he left that he could sign a one day contract and retire a Buccaneer. Best wishes to Gerald McCoy wherever the tide may take him in 2020.

 

You can check out Rick Stroud’s full article for the Tampa Bay Times here: “Gerald McCoy’s storybook ending? Playing in Super Bowl 55“,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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