Dec 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) rushes against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Open Talks with Gerald McCoy Over New Contract

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have opened contract negotiations with star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Rick Stroud of The Times reports that Bucs G.M. Jason Licht contacted McCoy’s agent, Ben Dogra, to initiate talks.

There is hope for an agreement before training camp opens, but Stroud says that no real timetable has been established.

McCoy is one of the faces of the franchise and one of the team’s best players. He’s a two-time Pro-Bowler and is often referred to as the best defensive tackle in the NFL. He is also a captain for the Bucs.

The 26-year-old is scheduled to make $15 million in 2014 and he will become an unrestricted free agent next off-season, unless a new contract can be agreed.

New Bucs head coach Lovie Smith has stressed that signing McCoy long term is a “priority.”

After being drafted third overall in the 2010 NFL draft, he signed a five-year, $55 million deal. McCoy received $20.8 million in guaranteed money.

McCoy has certainly lived up to his rookie deal so far and within the last two years especially, he has transformed into a dominant player. He has 119 tackles in 51 games and has registered 18.5 sacks during his career, including 9.5 in 2013, his best pro season.

While McCoy’s stats may not always add up, his play on the field does not go unnoticed. He is often double-teamed by opposing offenses, often to no avail, and makes game-changing plays for his defense.

Of course, McCoy could leave Tampa, but all signs suggest that he wants to sign long term with the Bucs. There are no details on how many years, and how much money, McCoy could possibly seek.

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