Article by: Kevin Eagleson
On Monday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut one of their best players in veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. After being drafted third overall in 2010, McCoy spent all nine seasons of his NFL career with the Bucs and established himself as one of the best interior lineman in the league. The Oklahoma product racked up 54.5 sacks, 296 tackles, and 140 QB hits and earned six Pro Bowl selections. The Buccaneers defense has struggled in recent years, and McCoy was one of their lone bright spots, as he impacted the game even more than his numbers suggest.
Although there is no disputing McCoy is a dominant defensive player, he offered Tampa Bay a great opportunity to save some money (especially since they were now able to cut him without creating dead money). The 31-year-old was due to make $13 million a year for the remaining three years on his contract, but the Bucs decided he was no longer worth the money.
It did not take the Buccaneers long to find McCoys replacement, as just days after he was cut they signed another veteran defensive tackle in Ndamukong Suh. Suh was also selected in the 2010 draft, just one spot before of McCoy at second overall. He is now 32-years-old, but has proved he still has some gas left in the tank after a one-year deal in LA. The contract signed was also more reasonable for the Bucs, as he will be paid a maximum of $10 million for just a single season. Overall, losing Gerald McCoy is not a huge deal for Tampa Bay, as they were able to save some money and sign another productive defensive tackle.
Gerald McCoy quickly drew interest from many new NFL teams such as the Bengals, Falcons, Patriots, Browns, Colts, Saints, Panthers, and Ravens. McCoy stated he is prioritizing winning at this point in his career, and he will have a great opportunity to join a contending team. So far, he has visited the Browns and intends to visit the Ravens on Tuesday, after which a decision should not be far away. At this time it is difficult to predict where he will land since there are so many teams interested, but the Browns and Ravens appear to be frontrunners at this point. No matter where McCoy ends up, he will surely continue to produce and improve whatever defense he chooses to join, and hopefully the star finally has an opportunity to be on a contending team.
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