Before announcing his retirement from the NFL, Gerald McCoy apparently talked to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about returning for his final season.
It feels like we are constantly marveling at how many plot twists this Tampa Bay Buccaneers offseason has produced, but they keep popping up.
Some things were expected, like Tom Brady retiring and the team spiraling into a brief salary cap tailspin. Other things, like how the team miraculously worked its way out of that cap situation, were pleasantly surprising.
Devin White requested a trade, which was a plot twist some saw coming but it didn’t feel good to hear while Jamel Dean and Lavonte David both rejected the idea of playing somewhere else and re-signed with the Bucs.
The latest twist is a bit more minor than that, but nonetheless notable for fans.
Gerald McCoy announced his retirement from the NFL, officially ending his career a few years after it unfortunately appeared to have ended anyway. Injuries plagued McCoy in the final years of his career and he was unable to make the sort of impact for the Raiders, Panthers, or Cowboys like he did for the Bucs.
That doesn’t mean he didn’t have something left to give. McCoy may have decided to call it a career, but it wasn’t before he made one last ditch effort to use his knowledge and skill to help an old friend at the end.
Gerald McCoy wanted to return to Buccaneers for final season
On a recent episode of Chris Long’s podcast ‘Green Light’, McCoy said that he talked with the Bucs about possibly returning to Tampa Bay for his final season so that he could help mentor the defensive line.
It would appear, based on his retirement announcement, that his offer was turned down.
Here’s what he said, per JoeBucsFan:
"“I even told Tampa, ‘Hey listen, I don’t have to play; I just want to be a mentor because y’all doing a lot of wrong up front,” McCoy said. “You have talent and y’all not rushing together. Guys are not getting on edges. They’re just running down [the] middle of people. It’s just bull [rush], bull, bull and I seen a lot things I could help with just teaching guys, ‘ok, this is how you rush together.’ And I told them, ‘hey listen, I don’t have to play. Like, even if I’m on practice squad I’m still sitting in the meetings.”"
The idea of McCoy’s career coming full circle in Tampa Bay is a really cool idea, but it couldn’t have been worse timing. Even if the team liked his idea and wanted him back, the Bucs simply don’t have the financial flexibility to make it happen.
Just because it didn’t happen the way he drew it up doesn’t mean it still can’t happen.
While the Bucs don’t have a ton of money to spend on players, they could spend it on coaches. Having him return and count against the cap just to sit on the bench makes exactly zero sense, but having him on Todd Bowles’ coaching staff as an entry-level defensive assistant is a nice way to get McCoy’s foot in the coaching door.
That’s assuming he wants to be a coach, but that’s sort of what it sounds like in his statement on Long’s podcast.
McCoy should — and deserves to — enjoy his retirement, but it could be that we haven’t seen the last of him either with the Bucs or in the NFL.