The Buccaneers have confirmed the news.
Statement from Buccaneers GM Jason Licht:
“These decisions are very difficult, personally and professionally. 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.”
Statement from Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians:
“I know Gerald has done a lot of good things on and off the football field in Tampa during his time here. 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.”
McCoy had been on the trade block the past few months, but it appears as though no deal surfaced and the Buccaneers ultimately decided to take the cap space and move on.
The Browns have reportedly maintained interest in McCoy, so they’re clearly a team to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
McCoy, 31, is a former first-round pick of the Buccaneers back in 2010. He’s currently in the fifth year of his seven-year, $95.2 million contract and set to make base salaries of $13 million and $10 million over the next two years of the agreement.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing will free up $13 million of available cap space while creating no dead money.
In 2018, McCoy appeared in 14 games for the Buccaneers and recorded 28 tackles, six sacks, and a pass defense. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 28 interior defender out of 112 qualifying players.