When training camp opens, one player you can expect to see will be Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Despite heading into 2014 on the last year of his contract, McCoy told reporters earlier this week that he’ll be in camp without any fuss.
“When they say report to camp, Gerald McCoy will be there regardless of what happens,” he said.
McCoy will make a base salary of $13 million this year, the fifth and final year of the five-year, $63 million contract he signed as a rookie, and the need to sign McCoy to a deal should be a priority for the Bucs. Lovie Smith has already said that getting McCoy a new contract is of high importance.
However, McCoy has put to bed any thoughts that he may hold out and even outlined his future goals.
“There’s a lot I haven’t done,’’ he said. “I haven’t been a defensive player of the year. I’ve never played in a playoff game. I haven’t been to a Super Bowl. My defense hasn’t finished in the top five … There is so much more that I can do, not personally, but just helping my team go to the next level.”
McCoy’s maturity and skill set has come a long way since he was taken third overall out of Oklahoma in the 2010 draft, highlighted by that fact he was voted one of the team’s captains by his teammates. He’s also considered one of the faces of the franchise and has handled himself adequately off the field too.
McCoy had a team high 9.5 sacks last season and finished with 50 tackles, his best all around season as a pro and was subsequently selected to his second straight Pro Bowl appearance.
McCoy was constantly double-teamed by opponents each week, but it did nothing to slow him down as he was constantly a disruptive force in the trenches all year long.
There seems to be mutual interest in getting a deal done so Bucs’ fans shouldn’t feel apprehensive about one of the team’s most disruptive players leaving Tampa.