McCoy Fires Opening Salvo At Free Agency

January 29th, 2018


Gerald McCoy has spoken his piece, loud and clear. He wants new bodies, and he wants them now.

Tampa Bay’s longest-tenured defensive player transformed his week in Orlando for the Pro Bowl into a cry for help.

McCoy openly lobbied for the Bucs to pursue Michael Bennett and Aqib Talib — and you can bet Jason Licht took notice.

Eight years of diligent service without a postseason berth to show for it will make a man lower the curtain on his frustrations. And while McCoy knows Talib is still a member of the Broncos, and the Seahawks still own Bennett’s services, he has fired an opening salvo in what promises to be an eventful offseason for Licht and Dirk Koetter.

The Bucs have plenty of cap space, but the harsh truth of the matter is free agency looks lean in the areas of greatest need. The Cowboys aren’t about to let DeMarcus Lawrence test the market after he registered 14 1/2 of their 38 sacks last season.

And does anybody truly believe the Steelers are willing to see Le’Veon Bell ease on down the road?

C’mon, man.

Baggage Claim

McCoy singled out Talib and Bennett in part because he played with both as fellow Buccaneers.

After four years in Tampa, Bennett signed with Seattle as a free agent in 2013. Talib was traded to New England midway through the 2012 season with one game remaining on a four-game suspension imposed by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Although Bennett is 32 and Talib turns 32 next month, both guys can still play at a high level. Bennett has been one of the key contributors on a nasty Seattle defense while Talib, since 2008, tops all corners with 34 interceptions, one more than Brent Grimes in that span.

“Every year I’ve been here Aqib’s played tremendously well for us against a lot of the No. 1 receivers from the other team,” says Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods. “I feel like he still plays at that level, but when you get older, it’s a little bit harder to recover and he’s a veteran that is at that stage in his career.”

It’s not unrealistic to suggest the Broncos will release Talib in an effort to pocket $11 million. The Seahawks could save $5.5 million by cutting Bennett after June 1.

On paper, these look like serious upgrades for the NFL’s most porous defense.

Not so fast, Stick Carriers. These guys carry some serious baggage.

Highly Flammable 

Talib is a knucklehead, plain and simple. When his pro career ends, he will be known for two things: his dazzling knack for returning interceptions for touchdowns and his habit of losing his cool and getting into trouble.

Bennett is quite a character — smart, sensitive and polarizing. He has been a big supporter of Colin Kaepernick and his assertion that he was victimized by an overzealous cop outside a casino last August has been challenged by the Las Vegas police department.

This spring, Bennett is scheduled to co-write a book entitled: “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.”

Is the Buc locker room strong enough to handle these two huge personalities?

“We’ve got a great room,” insists Lavonte David. “Everybody loves each other like a brother.”

The Bucs need a serious injection of talent. That’s a fact of life, like ice, like fire and like Miko Grimes’ Twitter account.

But be careful what you wish for, Mr. McCoy.

Mess with chemistry too much and you can go kaboom.

Ira Kaufman is the most revered sports personality and writer in town. He has hung his hat at world headquarters since July 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also hear Ira every Wednesday on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio at 5 p.m., and see him Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 p.m. on Spectrum Sports 360.

37 Responses to “McCoy Fires Opening Salvo At Free Agency”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    @Ira … “The Bucs need a serious injection of talent.” That’s all that needs to be said Ira. Now get Jason Licht & the Glazer Boys to make it happen.

  2. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Agree with Defense Rules!

  3. Chris in WA Says:

    Yes to Talib, no to Bennett. Talib has matured (for the most part) and can acknowledge that he was a bonehead with the Bucs and was young and dumb. Seems like Bennett is doubling down on his bullcrap. Had no idea he was writing a book titled “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable”. I’d sooner rather see Swaggy Baker (who I strongly dislike) on the edge than Bennett on this team but that’s just me

  4. DI Says:

    Things that make white people uncomfortable? Hearing about a book entitled “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable”.

  5. teacherman777 Says:

    Bring em home!!

    Grimes plus Talib? Damn! They could be the best duo in the NFL for the next 2 years while we draft and develop 2 young CB’s.

  6. Maze Says:

    Guess nobody’s heard of Trumaine Johnson

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    Bennett is not coming back. He’s a social justice warrior piece of trash that supports a cop killing terrorist group and he personally completely lied about a situation with cops in Vegas. He’s a piece of garbage as a human being and he will not make his way back to Tampa – and if he does the stadium is going to be even more empty than it already is. In fact if the Glazers signed off on such a piece of trash it only tells me the Bucs want a new stadium and will start talking relocation and want to tank attendance to get that started.

  8. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    Ridiculous…just a couple of old players with baggage…send McCoy away for a pick…he’s the locker room cancer with this stupid talk…

  9. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    Fuller from Chicago for the cornerback hole and draft plenty for the trenches

  10. HFXBUC Says:

    I doubt Bennett’s views are devise inside a locker room. He’s a outspoken and political but that’s not bad or problematic unless his views scare you…or make you nervous.

  11. HowToSpellRhonde Says:

    Rod Munch has issues of insecuity and idiocy.

  12. Bucnjim Says:

    Why wouldn’t you go young and finish building through the draft. These two will either be injured or in jail by week four! Liberal judges out west are the only reason they both aren’t behind bars already. Also saying Talib has matured is laughable! Snatching gold chains off opposing teams players is the act of a 14 year old.

  13. BurgDweller Says:

    Should be trading McCoy for a 3rd round pick.

  14. tmaxcon Says:

    Considering the crying clown mccoy is the MAIN problem with team taking suggestions from an irrelvant career loser is exactly what the glazers will do and exactly why this team has zero hope moving forward.

  15. tmaxcon Says:

    There is ZERO chance the bucs can get anything higher than a 5th for a washed up broken down has been that never was… the quick firsr step to nowhere has bern proven ineffective for 8 years

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I could care less about Bennett’s views. His character matters, but in this case I don’t have to even consider his character because he doesn’t meet the most important qualification. And neither does Talib.


    When you go after free agents, you should go for ages 27-28. Anything older will usually mean lots of injuries or career twilight. There are exceptions to that rule, but that’s when you must also consider things like character and continuity.

    For example, Brent Grimes does not meet the first condition…of age…but he does meet the other two. Therefore, he would be the exception.

    Chris Baker does not meet the age condition, and he also does not meet the character and continuity conditions. Had Licht held him to this standard, he would not have signed him.

    Vincent Jackson did not meet the first, but he met the other two. He was an exception.

    As much as Joe wants to see a former mistake corrected, it is too late to do so. Yes, letting Bennett go was a huge mistake. There is no denying that. But it was years ago, and in that time, like all human beings, Bennett has aged. While he meets the continuity aspect, he does not meet the character aspect. I won’t judge him for writing a book with a title that is inflammatory. Heck, I commend him because it gets attention and that is the biggest goal in marketing.

    But…there have been other instances that would call his character into question. As a veteran, he would have a strong influence on the character of our young players…so that would have to be weighed seriously. The whole taking the knee thing matters little. Colin pretty much conned people with that. HE was being lazy the first time and he tried to turn it into something else instead of manning up to it. Other players supporting it DID do it for well-intended purposes. Doesn’t matter though. The NFL will likely pass a rule dealing with it this off season.

    As to Talib, anyone who thinks he has matured is fooling themselves. He still loses his temper and draws penalties. He does not meet the age requirement, and as far as continuity, that’s out the window too, because he does not have continuity of health or production.

    I understand people are desperate after a 5-11 season and there is little to be hopeful over at this point in the off season, but there is no need to go backwards.

    The right players will come available. We just have to be patient.

  17. zzbucs Says:

    Can´t stand players putting pressure on GM´s. Players play that´s all!!! Not sure about Talb and not sure about Bennet either, they both can be a locker room distratcion, we have enough with Big mouth Baker !!!!

  18. Buc believer Says:

    Batman telling the Gm how to do his job is like Hillary Clinton telling Donald Trump how to get elected president.

  19. Buc believer Says:

    Here goes Joe and his filters about GMC again… Dang he is SO sensitive when it comes to Batman.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    tmaxcon, just curious, but when McCoy is no longer on this team, which player will you turn your hate upon?

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Or will you actually start contributing?

  22. Destinjohnny Says:

    every year different positions are strong in drafts.
    2 years ago d line was the strongest postion in 20 years
    It was also out biggest weakness as a team.
    So we draft
    A corner who is slow and small who should have been a 3rd round pick
    A 230 pound defensive end who ran a 4.8 forty and has one move to the outside
    And we trade up for a kicker

    So this draft is an awful draft for d lineman and we are having to force the issue and over draft a lineman

    Jason is a scout not a gm

  23. DBS Says:

    tmax has a list and adds to it every year just to cover himself. Remember back when it was Glennon then Vjax and LVD and so on?

  24. Me? Says:

    I’m just here to read Rod Munch’s comments. Joe, just rename the website “Rod Munch’s Early Onset Dementia Ramblings” and watch the click count rise!

  25. Joeypoppems Says:

    So lets say we do sign both of them and it doesnt work out like most FAs that come to the Bucs, do the fans blame McCoy or Licht?

  26. Hodad Says:

    Why do you people want to bring back guys that weren’t successful here their first time around, believe they’ll be better now at the end of their careers? Talib played well in Denver because he had Von Miller chasing down Q.B.’s, you see any Von Millers on this team? Bennett was part, not the end all on a great Seattle defense, he’ll suck here. McCoy is a crying clown, doll playing Batman want to be career loser, who cares what he wants. He should shut his pie hole, and strive to make a play when it counts.

  27. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    What “Me says” just said.

  28. NFLNut Says:

    I’d rather GMC was demanding Ziggy Ansah and Trumaine Johnson! Those are going to be the most expensive free agent DE and free agent CB this year imho … and while we may not get both or even one, GMC would at least be demanding the BEST the free agent market has to offer (rather than two old dudes who happen to be ex-teammates) … and if the Bucs end up with the second best at each position, which would probably be Kony Ealy and Malcolm Butler, that’d be solid too …

  29. 813bucboi Says:

    how has the band aids of ayers….ward….sweezy worked out for us?…..

    I wont be pissed if they signed both, but we better draft at those same positions as well….

    regarding GMC….oh boy….where to start…..

    he’s demanding players that left tampa and went on to have monster careers….when they were here they accomplished nothing, so I don’t see why he’s wants them back so badly….but it is what it is…..if we get them cool…if not, cool….GO BUCS!!!!

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    Kony Ealy and Malcolm Butler, that’d be solid too …


    those are the 2players we need to go after….both young….both productive….GO BUCS!!!!

  31. BucTrooper Says:

    Michael Bennett Is writing a book? I guess that just goes to prove that you don’t have to have read a book in order to write one.

  32. grafikdetail Says:

    puh-lease!! worst defense in the league IN EVERY CATEGORY and 5-11 team… there is nothing to ruin… don’t know why fans think they can win with a lily white boy scout team… if you’re successful team like the patriots you can be selective but even they take in players with questionable character… this mentality is the reason why the Bucs have sucked for over a decade

  33. Marc Says:

    Lol, BucTrooper

  34. HowToSpellRhonde Says:

    @ BucTrooper

    Your writing skills prove you haven’t read a book in a good while.

  35. MadMax Says:

    So bennett wants to make white people uncomfortable? haha, way to go social justice warrior…smdh. I mean if he’s talking about dressing in drag and doing ghey pron with dennis rodman, yeah, that would make me uncomfortable. Anything else is just drivel from an overly sensitive pea brain hoping to intimidate people lol!! What a joke! Na, dont need that jithole on our team. Im good with Talib, but not pea brain.

  36. grafikdetail Says:

    someone is already triggered…poor snowflake doesn’t agree with Bennetts’s “politics” and you’d rather the Bucs be dead last in the league in sacks again then bringing in a player that can help 😭😂 right now the Bucs can bring in the grand wizard of the KKK, neo nazi & Aryan Brotherhood leaders & i wouldn’t bat an eye… if they can sack the QB bring the SOB in LOL

  37. MadMax Says:

    lol, i knew my response would trigger one of you flakes….and there she is.