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?
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