View some of the best photos of DT Gerald McCoy from his career with the Bucs.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 10th-year defensive tackle Gerald McCoy have mutually parted ways.
The agreement comes with three years remaining on the contract McCoy signed with the Buccaneers in October of 2014. This was the first year that he could be released without the team incurring "dead money" against the salary cap, and the move will add significantly to the team's flexibility under that cap.
"These decisions are very difficult, personally and professionally," said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht. "Over the past nine years, Gerald has been a cornerstone of this franchise and a leader in our community. Parting ways with a player and person such as Gerald is one of the toughest responsibilities of this job. We wish Gerald, along with his wife, Ebony, and the entire McCoy family continued success and thank them for everything they have meant to our organization and community."
McCoy, 31, departs as one of the most decorated players in franchise history. The third-overall pick in the 2010 draft, he was selected for the Pro Bowl for six straight seasons from 2012-17. Those six all-star selections are tied for the third-most in team annals; only Hall-of-Famers Derrick Brooks (11) and Warren Sapp (seven) had more.
Like Sapp, McCoy provided consistent pressure up the middle, as his 54.5 career sacks rank fourth in Buccaneer history. McCoy posted a career-best 9.5 sacks in 2013 but had at least six in each of the last six years.
The departure of McCoy also continues a very significant wave of changes to the Tampa Bay defense. The arrival of Head Coach Bruce Arians and Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles brings a new scheme, including a base 3-4 alignment, something the Buccaneers last employed as their primary defense in 1990. The Bucs also dipped into free agency to acquire edge rusher Shaq Barrett and versatile linebacker/safety Deone Bucannon, then reloaded in the NFL Draft with six of their eight draft picks devoted to defense, including first-round pick Devin White.
"I know Gerald has done a lot of good things on and off the football field in Tampa during his time here," Head Coach Bruce Arians said. "You hate to see good football players go, but this is a decision that we felt needed to be made in order to allow us, and Gerald, the ability to move forward. Gerald is a class-act and I wish him the best."
In addition to his on-field accomplishments, McCoy has been active in the Tampa Bay community. In 2018 he and his wife, Ebony, launched the Patricia Diane Foundation, named after McCoy's late mother. McCoy was later selected as the Buccaneers' Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for his work through the foundation to help provide low-income single parents with resources for their children.