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Bucs Extend McCoy Through 2021

Gerald McCoy was one of the best players in the National Football League in 2013. Now he has the opportunity to be one of the best in the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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On Saturday, the Buccaneers announced that they have signed McCoy to a seven-year contract extension that will run through the 2021 season. That much-anticipated deal for the third-overall pick in the 2010 draft allows Tampa Bay to lock one of the most important pieces of their foundation in place. It also gives McCoy a chance to place his name alongside the likes of Lee Roy Selmon, Derrick Brooks, Mike Alstott and Ronde Barber, all of whom spent their entire NFL careers with the Buccaneers.

In addition, McCoy now has a clear path to carry on the tradition of such dominant Tampa Bay defensive linemen as Selmon and Warren Sapp, both of whom won NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards as Buccaneers. McCoy doesn't have that award on his mantle yet, but he has been to the last two Pro Bowls and was an Associated Press first-team All-Pro selection last year. Pro Football Focus graded McCoy as the fourth-best player in the NFL at any position in 2013 (teammate Lavonte David came in fifth and will likely be a priority for the Buccaneers down the road).

Moreover, McCoy is clearly the Buccaneers' number-one leader in the locker room as well as a positive presence in the Bay area community. Like such players as Selmon and Brooks before him, McCoy is essentially the model Buccaneer, and it is obvious why the franchise would be eager to allocate whatever funds were necessary to keep him in pewter and red.

 

A press conference with McCoy, Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht and Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith is scheduled for Monday at 4:00 p.m. ET.

"From the moment Lovie and I arrived here, we knew it was vital for us to keep Gerald in Tampa Bay long term as one of the cornerstones of our franchise," said Licht. "With the backing of the Glazer family, we were able to accomplish that. On the field, Gerald is one of the best players in the National Football League, who has been extremely productive and will be for years to come. We are happy to reward someone that has a rare work ethic, which not only makes him an elite player, but serves as an example for our entire team. His commitment, character and leadership are attributes that make him a truly special person, who will play a pivotal role in our future success."

McCoy, 26, was originally drafted by the Buccaneers with the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and has started all 56 games that he has played, earning Pro Bowl honors following each of the past two seasons. McCoy also received first-team Associated Press All-Pro recognition for his 2013 season, in which he registered career highs with 9.5 sacks, 50 tackles and four passes defensed.

Last season, McCoy was rated as Pro Football Focus' highest-rated defensive tackle and recorded the second-highest grade the group has ever given (2008-present). He led the NFL in combined sacks, quarterback hits and pressure (79.5), and topped defensive tackles in tackles for loss (15), while his sack total ranked fourth.

In five games this season, McCoy has logged 17 tackles, including six for loss, two sacks and one pass defensed. In the season opener, McCoy logged eight tackles, including two for loss, and one sack. Despite breaking his hand in Week 2 – missing nearly two full games and having a bye week – McCoy is again PFF's top-rated defensive tackle, tied for the fifth-most total pressures and the second-most quarterback hits among players at his position.

In 2012, McCoy anchored the NFL's No. 1-ranked rushing defense, which allowed a franchise-record low 82.5 yards per game. He also chipped in 5.0 sacks, 30 tackles, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

A three-time team captain, McCoy is also one of the Buccaneers' most active and visible leaders in the community. He continuously donates to charitable groups throughout the Tampa Bay area, such as sponsoring the "Gerald's Little Giants" Front Row Fans section at Buccaneers home games, and surprising single-mother families with toys, gift cards and meals around the holidays. McCoy also serves as spokesperson for the Glazer Family Foundation's Vision Program, promoting the importance of healthy eyesight and wearing eyeglasses for Title I students throughout Tampa Bay. The 2012 Pop Warner Little Scholars "Inspiration to Youth" Award Winner has dedicated his free time to serving others, including visits to local hospitals, supporting the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and hosting movie outings for fans.

McCoy and his wife, Ebony, have four children. He was born February 25, 1988, in Oklahoma City, Okla., the son of Gerald and the late Patricia McCoy.

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