As Falcons fans, you might have been surprised to hear the news tonight that the Bucs released Gerald McCoy. The six-time Pro Bowler just capped off a six sack season in Tampa Bay, the latest in a long string of lost years, and Tampa Bay finally extended him the mercy of releasing him to pursue his dreams with a better football team. Bless them.
BREAKING: DT Gerald McCoy has been informed by the Bucs of their plans to release him after nine seasons. The team decided not to pay him the $13-million salary he was owed for 2019.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) May 20, 2019
McCoy is no spring chicken at 31, but he’s shown few signs of slowing down with 19 sacks over his last three seasons. The Bucs have been oddly antagonistic toward their star defensive tackle for a little while now, and they’ve finally gone ahead and gotten rid of one of their best veterans as they attempt another teardown that will surely end better than the last several. McCoy, meanwhile, heads to free agency.
Now, far be it from me to suggest that there are teams in the NFC South who would benefit from the addition of McCoy, especially ones that are coming off a lackluster season but are primed with talent and could probably clear some cap space to make room for a defensive tackle hellbent on tearing up his old team like a wet newspaper. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that a team could, say, try to move a player or two coming off a rough year and making a lot of money for peanuts in order to open up room for McCoy, who could, say, supplement an already deep defensive tackle group and allow that team to put together the mother of all beefy yet quick defensive lines on a weekly basis. Those kinds of suggestions would be beneath me in a news-focused report such as this.
Wherever Gerald McCoy ends up, I hope it’s with the Falcons, I mean, with a good team that will surely appreciate him.