After nine seasons with the team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, making him a free agent.
After it had been rumored since the beginning of February, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have finally made the move to release defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. This move comes after an NFL Draft that saw the Buccaneers wait until the seventh round to take a defensive tackle.
The release of McCoy now frees up $13 million in cap space for the Buccaneers who had less than $2 million in flexibility prior. The Buccaneers will now have enough cap space to sign the rest of their draft picks as well as shop the bargain bin after moving on from McCoy.
McCoy was the third overall pick of the Buccaneers back in the 2009 NFL Draft and since has put together an illustrious career in Tampa Bay. During his tenure in Tampa Bay, McCoy was named an All-Pro once in 2013, and made it to six straight Pro Bowls from the years 2012 to 2017.
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During his nine seasons in the pewter and red, McCoy has tallied 54.5 total sacks and 79 tackles for loss. In 2018 McCoy put together a season of six sacks, six tackles for loss, and 21 hits on the quarterback; he was graded with an above average score of 78.6 according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
The Buccaneers must fill yet another hole on the defensive side of the ball with the release of the veteran McCoy. For a team who struggled defensively a year ago, this is not good news.
With the injury of Jason Pierre-Paul and now the cutting of McCoy, the Buccaneers will turn to a defensive front currently containing of Beau Allen, William Gholston, Terry Beckner Jr., and Rakeem Nunez-Roches. Vita Vea will plug up the middle at nose tackle along the Tampa Bay defensive line.
McCoy will be highly sought after by playoff contending teams such as the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, and New England Patriots. As for Tampa Bay, their marriage with their former third overall pick has ended.