Bucs Don’t Want To Play Tag With McCoyFebruary 17th, 2014
The Bucs, however, don’t have those concerns now. in part because leaky, sleepy Josh Freeman was benched and never became a guy the Bucs wanted to retain.
But next year at this time the Bucs could have a national spotlight on them with Gerald McCoy. Big No. 93, the man Lovie Smith referred to as the “engine” of his defense, will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
If the Bucs and McCoy can’t agree on the massive cash it will take to retain him, then the Bucs could slap the franchise tag on McCoy for 2015, which will cost them 120 percent of McCoy’s 2014 salary, or more than $15 million. And that $15 million or so would count fully toward the 2015 salary cap.
That marks a huge question mark facing the new regime. Jason Licht and Lovie Smith want to build the Bucs intelligently and responsibly, and McCoy is the key cog in the defense, in addition to being a quality face of the franchise. Re-signing McCoy soon could make a lot of sense, but Joe doesn’t know how that could be creatively pulled off in the best interest of all parties.
Given McCoy’s somewhat ancient history of injuries, perhaps the Bucs want to see one healthy season year from him before locking him up long term?
But if Lovie Smith restores the Bucs’ pass rush and uses McCoy to get the most out of him, then McCoy, as Warren Sapp predicts, will turn in a monster 2014 season. Joe could only imagine what McCoy might cost after that.