Six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy released by Tampa Bay Buccaneers
By Field Level Media
Last Updated: 21/05/19 10:03am
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who spent the past nine seasons with the organisation.
McCoy, the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, had three years left on his contract which would have seen him make $13m in base pay this season. The original contract - signed in 2014 - was for six years and $95.2m.
"These decisions are very difficult, personally and professionally," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. "Over the past nine years, Gerald has been a cornerstone of this franchise and a leader in our community.
"Parting ways with a player and person such as Gerald is one of the toughest responsibilities of this job."
After the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud originally reported the news, ESPN's Adam Schefter noted that the Bucs tried for two months to find a trade partner, but when it was clear there was none, the two sides "mutually parted ways."
The 31-year-old has been a pillar on otherwise subpar defenses for most of his career in Tampa. Earlier this month, McCoy voiced his displeasure with trade rumors while skipping voluntary workouts.
"I will be playing football somewhere," McCoy told a local reporter at the time. When asked where that would be, he said, "I don't know. We'll see."
After McCoy's release, first-year coach Bruce Arians said in a statement: "I know Gerald has done a lot of good things on and off the football field in Tampa during his time here."
"You hate to see good football players go, but this is a decision that we felt needed to be made in order to allow us, and Gerald, the ability to move forward. Gerald is a class act and I wish him the best."
Drafted out of Oklahoma in 2010, McCoy has 296 tackles, 54.5 sacks, 140 quarterback hits, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 123 career games.