Buccaneers rumors: Tampa Bay to release Gerald McCoy?

Six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy has been among the best defensive tackles in football over the past seven seasons. McCoy doesn’t get a lot of recognition because he’s playing on an irrelevant Tampa Bay Buccaneers team.

That might now change.

According to this report from ESPN’s Jenna Laine, there’s a real good chance that the Buccaneers will release McCoy this offseason.

“Given that the Bucs are about $16.5 million under the salary cap going into 2019, there is a real chance McCoy won’t return,” Laine reported.

Say what? Release your best player to get better. Sounds like all parties are functioning with a full deck in Tampa, right?

There is, however, some method to this madness. Tampa Bay is switching schemes under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. That makes McCoy expendable in the grand scheme of things.

Even then, the idea of moving on from one of the best defensive players in franchise history might be a bitter pill for Buccaneers fans to swallow.

McCoy, 30, has racked up six-plus sacks in each of the past six seasons. He’s also recorded 110 quarterback hits during that span. This is certainly a rarity from the defensive tackle position.

If the Bucs do move on from McCoy, there’s going to be a ton of interest in him this coming offseason. Take that to the bank.