The Gerald McCoy era in Tampa Bay is coming to an end.
The Buccaneers have informed McCoy that they’re releasing him, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Although McCoy has been a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro in Tampa, the move comes as no surprise. McCoy is 31 years old, has started to show signs of declining play, and was due a $13 million base salary if he was on the team this year.
McCoy will certainly have options, and the Browns have already been identified as one team that has shown interest. He’ll have a hard time, however, finding a team willing to pay him the kind of money he was set to make from the Bucs.
Also complicating matters for McCoy will be that there are several defensive linemen still available in free agency, most notably Ndamukong Suh, who entered the NFL at the same time as McCoy. (Suh went second overall in the 2010 draft, and McCoy went third.) It would not be surprising to see the Buccaneers consider signing Suh to replace McCoy.
McCoy has said he’s looking forward to playing somewhere this season, he just doesn’t know where. It won’t be in Tampa.