The ongoing debate about whether or not Bucs Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is going to remain with the team for his 10th season continues. At issue: whether the new coaching staff, led by Bruce Arians, really believes that McCoy is valuable enough to keep around, especially at a large price tag.
Arians questioned McCoy’s value/salary publicly for the first time, last month at the NFL owners meeting in Arizona. McCoy has since stayed away from the Bucs’ building and the questions about his status have mounted.
Next, there was plenty of debate in the Tampa Bay area on the radio, and the internet, etc. in and around the NFL Draft last weekend that the Buccaneers may be trying to deal McCoy for a decent draft pick. That obviously never materialized.
Then, we at F.F.I. were tipped off Monday afternoon that a possible McCoy to the Cleveland Browns scenario might make sense for Cleveland and was already being reported and debated on Northeast Ohio sports radio airwaves, as well as, the internet sites up there.
We checked with another source familiar McCoy’s situation, in addition to the one that has insight in Ohio and the Browns.
And, the conclusion we came up with on Tuesday morning?
There’s no truth to the “McCoy to Cleveland” rumors…. at least not, now.
First, there is the financial reality that McCoy is slated to make $13 million (non-guaranteed) this season. And, while the Browns have a lot of salary cap room, that’s a high price for them to pay and would likely mean that instead, they would have to negotiate a new deal with him, anyway.
Another problem from last weekend is that the Browns had already dealt away their #1 pick (17th overall) and a thrid round selection this year to the Giants in the Odell Beckham trade.
So, it’s not like Cleveland had a lot to offer Tampa Bay, anyway, as they weren’t likely to give up their second round selection this year, too, for McCoy.
Next, the argument in Tampa Bay is that the Bucs are more “cap strapped” and have fewer than $2 million currently to spend, currently. And, they now have to sign draft picks and in doing so, look for places to create cap space. That’s why McCoy’s name and salary continue to come up.
The source familiar with McCoy’s situation said to us Monday that McCoy was waiting to see if the team was actually trying to deal him or if a looming demand to take a significant pay cut to stay in Tampa Bay, becomes reality?
Again, they never heard a peep from anyone and no deal was made.
So, in the meantime, it’s all in limbo with the Bucs and their top defensive tackle for the past decade.
Further, here’s more from Tampa Bay Times long-time Buccaneers beat writer Rick Stroud, who has repeatedly said on his popular podcast, written for his paper and even tweeted things like this Tuesday morning:
I want to emphasize I ran this story by nearly every source that would have been involved and all said there has been no discussion between the principles of the Browns and Bucs or McCoy’s representatives about a possible trade. https://t.co/TOr4hbSfqA
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) April 30, 2019
So, for now, McCoy has stayed away from voluntary workouts at the team facility. And, he is now waiting to see if the pay cut demand is the next move.
Although, the Bucs will be taking a real risk if he refuses the cut and then, they potentially release McCoy for nothing. Further, they are then giving him the freedom to sign with any other team.
And, if one of those teams is say, an NFC South one, like the Falcons or the Saints, that would offer McCoy the twice yearly chance to haunt his old team.
Now, we wait for all of that to unfold.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.