What Legacy does Gerald McCoy Leave Behind in Tampa Bay?

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 20: Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers smiles big during a game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 20, 2015 in New Orleans Louisiana. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 26-19. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped a bomb shell, announcing the release of Gerald McCoy after nine seasons.

Buccaneers are releasing six-time Pro-Bowl DT Gerald McCoy, who was due to make $13 million this season, as @NFLSTROUD reported.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2019

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It was more of a question of “when” rather than “if”, as the Buccaneers were rumored to trade or cut Gerald McCoy for the past two months. His cap hit of $13 million was simply to much for a team struggling to create cap space. One of the more criticized players, at least locally, what kind of legacy does McCoy leave behind?

Community Involvement

No one can argue that Gerald McCoy has been a positive influence off the field. Nominated for the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the year Award, his latest efforts involved discussion with law enforcement about social justice initiatives.

In 2014, McCoy donated $40,000 to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s Cut for a Cure and pledged to raise $140,000 in 2018. McCoy also established the Patricia Diane Foundation to help single parents in the Tampa Bay area, earning him the Week 14 NFLPA Community MVP.

Since his time with the team, Gerald McCoy has hosted a number of holiday dinners, movie screenings and Special Olympic Training Camps, but what about his on the field accolades?

Production

A first team all-pro, six time pro bowler, and number three overall pick, Gerald McCoy has racked up many accolades in Tampa.

After a slow start to his career, McCoy exploded onto the scene in 2013, where he record 50 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 16 games. In the 2015 season, McCoy vaulted to third for all time sacks on the Buccaneers. Since the 2018 season, McCoy has recorded 54.5 career sacks, currently 24th among active players.

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While Gerald McCoy has been an anchor on the defensive line for years, the overall defense has struggled significantly. Since 2010, the Buccaneers defense has ranked in the bottom half of the league in points allowed in all but two seasons.

Scrutiny

McCoy has donated his heart and soul to the Tampa community and created havoc up the middle for nearly a decade. But the fact remains that the Bucs have had many losing seasons under his leadership, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many fans.

McCoy was often criticized for being the nice guy on the field, often helping up players after a sack.

Even as a longtime captain, McCoy has not been the most vocal leader, often teaching by example. This lack of “rah-rah” mentality has rubbed many Bucs fans the wrong way,  many wanting a more ruthless attitude.

Another gripe among fans is the lack of production in the fourth quarter, which the numbers don’t seem to support.

Of Gerald McCoy’s 42 career sacks, 13 of them (31 percent) have come in the fourth quarter. #Bucs

— Thomas Bassinger (@tometrics) April 17, 2017

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Conclusion

Whether it’s being the “nice guy” on the field, lack of vocal leadership or perceived absence of fourth quarter production, some fans are happy with the news of his departure. Still, many appreciate his dominate presence on the field and positive influence off of it. No matter what side you stand on, McCoy has proven to be nothing short of a class act here in Tampa Bay.

Were you a fan of Gerald McCoy? Do you believe he had a successful career as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer? Do you think his number should be put in the ring of honor? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment down below or tweeting to @FPC_Buccaneers

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