Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy says he isn’t sure how much longer he’ll be with the Bucs, but he is sure he’s playing this year.
“I will be playing football somewhere,” McCoy told Mike Cairns.
The Buccaneers haven’t committed to keeping McCoy this year, and there’s been talk that they might trade him, release him or pressure him to take less than the $13 million base salary his contract calls for this season. McCoy said he doesn’t know if he’ll be in Tampa Bay when the season starts.
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” McCoy said. “Fans know I love them. I’ll be on the field at some point.”
McCoy has been skipping voluntary workouts, but if he wants to force the team’s hand, the smart play might be to show up and work out. If McCoy were to get injured during a voluntary workout at the team facility, the Bucs would be on the hook for his salary, so if McCoy were to join team activities, it might give the Bucs a sense of urgency to decide either to get rid of him or commit to him for this season.
Adding to the uncertainty around McCoy is the recent neck injury that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul suffered in a car accident. The Bucs may be less eager to move on from a veteran defensive tackle if their top veteran defensive end is going to miss significant time. The Bucs also could change their calculation about whether they can afford McCoy’s salary if they plan to put Pierre-Paul on the non-football injury list, and not pay him until he’s healthy enough to play.
McCoy doesn’t seem particularly worried about all that. He’s just sure he will play, somewhere, when the season starts.