The ongoing saga of what the Buccaneers organization intends to do with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and his contract status, continues with only occasional pieces to the puzzle.
Well, one of those pieces surface on Thursday night, as to McCoy’s whereabouts, and how he was spending his time.
That’s when, Jerys McIntyre, head football coach at Tampa Catholic High School, posted social media photographs of McCoy working on techniques with some of their players during an indoor Spring practice Thursday:
Special THANKS to (Tampa Bay Buccaneer)All-Pro Defensive Tackle @Geraldini93 Gerald McCoy on coming to work with our Offensive and Defensive Line during our 4th Spring Practice today at Tampa Catholic High School @TC_Football @tampacatholic #TampaCatholicFootball pic.twitter.com/AbbOso620o
— Jeris McIntyre (@JerisMcIntyre) May 3, 2019
As we have written, it is apparently a private (for now) standoff that McCoy is staying away from voluntary workouts, while the team has him mulling over whether to accept a pay cut from his $13 million non-guaranteed salary to return to the Buccaneers for his 10th season in 2019.
While McCoy hasn’t comment publicly and has gone mostly silent on social media himself, the team has been leaving clues.
Like Wednesday, as Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was directly asked about McCoy and whether or not there was an update on if he would be returning to offseason workouts. Bowles answered that question with “that decision is above my pay grade.”
The obvious implication is the decision rests with GM Jason Licht and new head coach Bruce Arians and to a larger extent, with the owners of the Buccaneers, the Glazer family.
Further, long time Buccaneers beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times, Rick Stroud, tweeted this on Friday in response to a fan opinion about McCoy participating in voluntary workouts or not:
They. Don’t. Want. Him. To. Play.
Say he goes out there and gets hurt. They owe him $13 million. Don’t believe everything you hear about 93 at One Buc. He’s been busting it in San Diego. JPP isn’t there either BTW https://t.co/g8PucaLlzh
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) May 3, 2019
The emphatic, “They. Don’t. Want. Him. To. Play,” is a new update. And, reading between the lines of that start to the tweet, Stroud has apparently learned that they’ve basically told McCoy he’s going to have to play at a lesser salary. And most importantly, until he makes that decision, the team doesn’t want him risking injury which would fully guarantee his 2019 salary.
Some continue to speculate that Tampa Bay would trade the six time Pro Bowler. However, either Licht and the team chose or were unable to get decent compensation for McCoy in a possible trade around the NFL Draft.
The next key part in this saga is when the Buccaneers hold mandatory mini-camp later in the summer. Then, McCoy has the ultimate leverage to simply show up and force the team to either accept him/the risk of injury or make the move to release him for nothing in return.
So, as we wait for that, we are left with only puzzle pieces.
And, short of someone definitely going on the record about McCoy’s status, we have to have enough of the pieces to make out “the picture” of what’s next?
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.