Gerald McCoy wants a reunion with the Buccaneers.
Letting Gerald McCoy walk during free agency will always be one of the stranger occurrences for the Buccaneers. McCoy, a likely Ring of Honor member for the Bucs, experienced an unceremonious departure from the team that he played with for nine seasons, but Tampa Bay has a chance to right the situation.
After getting cut by the team that he had given so much to, McCoy expressed a willingness to return to his home yesterday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. The Buccaneers need to oblige.
After a season-ending injury before starting his career as a Dallas Cowboy, McCoy likely wouldn’t be a full-time starter in the current defense, but this would give the Buccaneers some options.
Gerald McCoy could play a variety of roles for the Buccaneers
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Starting off, McCoy and Ndamukong Suh are nearly identical in the roles that they would play and their effectiveness in the system. No, Suh was not the reason why the run defense improved; that was on the back of Vita Vea and William Gholston. Suh serves as more of a third pass-rusher from the inside, just like McCoy would’ve done in the same spot.
If Suh asks for too much money in free agency, McCoy could be a veteran leader on the line with a cheaper contract, especially since he will still be chasing his first Super Bowl ring.
And for those who say he isn’t up to par with Suh as a pass-rusher, McCoy had 59.5 sacks in 139 games prior to last season. Suh had 58.5 sacks in 158 games during the same time. The massive gap that everyone creates between these two simply does not exist.
On the other hand, Suh could easily remain a Buccaneer. Suh hasn’t dealt with the off-field issues in Tampa, is a leader on the defense, and has experienced a great deal of success in a defense that uses him in various ways. Gerald McCoy would only add to the dominance.
McCoy still has the gas left in the tank to put together a successful end of his career off the bench. Even if he is the fourth guy on the line, because you can’t take Gholston or Vea off, McCoy will bring plenty of talent for the Bucs to rely on as a depth piece or insurance against injury.
The former Buccaneer All-Pro shouldn’t command a massive salary based on his prior injury and his desire to return, and if he is willing to play in that backup role, the Bucs should do everything possible to make it happen.
If Tampa Bay can’t find a defensive lineman early in the draft and want a proven entity that already knows most of the locker room, Gerald McCoy could prove too good an option to pass up. Give the man what he deserves and let him taste postseason football for the first time in his career if the price is right.
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