Gerald McCoy, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ best player of the past decade, is coming to a crossroads in his NFL career. The former All-Pro is no longer guaranteed any money from the franchise and could be a cap casualty in the coming offseason.

McCoy is slated to make 13 million dollars this coming year. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers go into free agency with one of the worst possible cap situations in the entire NFL.

If the Buccaneers do decide to move on from the former All-Pro, they will be missing out on a player who has gotten at least six sacks from the interior of the defensive line for the past six seasons.

Reasons Why the Buccaneers Should Keep Gerald McCoy.

McCoy had been named to six straight pro-bowls before missing this year. He is also a staple in the locker room and community.

In my opinion, much of what McCoy did this season went under the radar. Not all of it showed up on the stat sheet, but much of it showed up on the tape.

Andrew Adams can thank McCoy for at least one of his three interceptions off of Cam Newton in Tampa this past season.

McCoy was a constant presence in the backfield and made it tough to step into throws for oppossing quarterbacks. Many of these forced underthrows and inaccurate passes on many occasions.

Another stat to show McCoy’s value this past season is his total number of quarterback hits. His career high was 24 in 2017-2018. In 2013, his all-pro season, he recorded 21. He matched that total in 2018-2019, showing he can still get to the quarterback.

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Reasons Why the Buccaneers Could Release Gerald McCoy.

These are a little more self-explanatory, and easier to spot. McCoy is owed 13 million dollars against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers total cap space in 2019-2020. None of this money is guaranteed. McCoy could decide to take a pay cut and remain in Tampa Bay.

McCoy turns 31 in February and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have largely wasted the prime of a top defensive lineman. The Buccaneers would be honorable to let him chase rings in his last years.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a top five pick in the upcoming draft, and could pair Vita Vea with a defensive lineman from the draft. Possible options are Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence and Clein Ferrell, Houston’s Ed Oliver, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams and many more.

McCoy has also never played in a position besides defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense, and Todd Bowles prefers a 3-4 hybrid. So even if McCoy decides to say and takes a pay cut, he may not be able to adapt to the new defensive scheme.

Verdict

The Buccaneers would be better suited drafting a young prospect to better fit Todd Bowles preferred team and spend the 13 million dollars on depth pieces. This could be used on retaining Adam Humphries as well. This is assuming McCoy will not take a pay cut. If he does decide to restructure his contract, Tampa Bay would be wise to retain the veteran.

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