Gerald McCoy Voices Displeasure With Buccaneers

Shortly after former Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy agreed to a deal with the Panthers, we heard that his decision to stay in the NFC South rather than sign with the Browns or Ravens — the two other teams that were heavily pursuing him — was based primarily upon the camaraderie he saw during his visit to Carolina, along with his reservations about the cities of Cleveland and Baltimore. Although there was speculation that the chance to exact revenge on his old team two times a season may have had some impact on his choice, it seems that opportunity was more important to McCoy than was previously believed.

Appearing on FS1’s “The Undisputed” (h/t ESPN.com), McCoy unequivocally voiced his displeasure with the Tampa Bay organization. First, McCoy said that the club’s decision to give new signee (and McCoy replacement) Ndamukong Suh No. 93, McCoy’s old number, did not sit well with him. McCoy said, “It may seem like it’s just a number, but it’s bigger than that. It’s respect. That was a big part of the separation between me and Tampa, period, was the respect they showed to me all offseason. It just wasn’t there.”

As McCoy makes clear, the jersey number situation was emblematic of what he perceived to be a general lack of appreciation for his work for, and dedication to, a generally mediocre outfit. He added, “I’m one of the best players to ever play in the organization. I’m going to say it — usually I wouldn’t, but I’m going to say it. It kind of shows the respect and how they feel about me.”

The Bucs knew for some time that they were going to part ways with McCoy, and after they were unable to find a willing trade partner, they ultimately made the decision to release him. Even so, the fact that he did not receive any communication from the team’s coaching staff — including new HC Bruce Arians — while he was still under contract was quite frustrating to McCoy. He said, “I spoke to more people in Baltimore’s, Cleveland’s and Carolina’s staff than I spoke to the Bucs all offseason, and that’s a fact.”

Although the Panthers and Bucs both seem content with the former First Team All-Pros they have added to their defensive lines this offseason, McCoy’s candid remarks will add a layer of interest to this year’s divisional bouts between the two clubs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Gerald McCoy Voices Displeasure With Buccaneers

  1. crosseyedlemon

    Not at all surprised at McCoys remarks or that he chose to stay within the division so he could achieve some payback. Respect is a huge factor with players today. We saw that with the drama that went on in Pittsburgh with Bell and Brown. We saw it as recently as when Rudolph felt insulted by the Vikings asking him to accept a pay cut.

  2. imindless
    imindless

    Bucs get the L on this one, mccoy is a class act and deserves to one have his jersey in the rafters. It not often dt who can rush the passer come around its just disrespectful to allow suh to take his number like he is nothing but common trash…

    • crosseyedlemon

      There is a right way and a wrong way to end a relationship with a long serving veteran. Bucs fumbled the ball badly here.

  3. connfyoozed

    McCoy is a pretty good player, but for him to be upset that his uniform number was given out is absurd. It was given to Suh, who is also a pretty good player and a guy who has always requested that same uniform number wherever he has played. They didn’t give it to some practice squad guy. Also, McCoy is at best the 3rd best defensive lineman ever to play for the Bucs (Lee Roy Selmon and Warren Sapp). He’s not a Hall of Fame candidate at this point, so I don’t see why the Bucs would stop issuing his number. I actually don’t know what Tampa’s team policy on retired numbers is, but lots of teams put players in their Ring if Honor yet still continue to issue the number. It’s a really silly take on his part.

    • crosseyedlemon

      As stated in the article, the number wasn’t the major issue. McCoy was primarily bothered that the Bucs would even extend him the courtesy of communication.

    • bigjonliljon

      Agreed. Even if the team was to retire the number or put him into the ring of honor…. it would be after his playing days were over. Egotistical players these days. He was given respect- in the form of a pay check for the services he provided.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Every player gets a paycheck but not all of them go the extra mile to represent their team and community in a positive way. Those guys are special and should be treated accordingly.

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