TAMPA — On the first day of the Bucs’ voluntary off-season workout program under Bruce Arians, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was a no-show.
The team does not provide a list of players who did not attend Monday and it’s unknown if McCoy had a scheduling conflict of some kind.
But April 1 marked the first day that teams with new head coaches — the Bucs, Broncos, Browns, Jets, Cardinals, Packers, Dolphins and Bengals — could begin phase one of the off-season workout program. This consists of mostly conditioning and meetings with coaches, but it also serves as the unofficial start of 2019 for players.
The Bucs have been non-committal about whether McCoy will be with the team this season. The six-time Pro Bowl player has a base salary of $13-million that is not guaranteed.
Last week, Arians said McCoy was not as disruptive as he was four years ago.
"We all know what Gerald means to this locker room,'' said defensive back Vernon Hargreaves Monday. "We know what Gerald means to the locker room, But the community knows what he means to the community based on what he does. I don’t have to speak on him for what he does. If he comes back, if he doesn’t come back, it’s all business. It’s not much for me to speak on, He has to do what’s best for him and his family. (Bucs general manager) Mr. (Jason) Licht has to do what’s best for the Buccaneers. So that’s where that comes in line. I want him here. Obviously, everybody wants him here. Who wouldn’t want him here?''
Arians was not available to the media Monday but said last week he will not be talking about players like McCoy who don’t show up.
"As a coach, I coach who I got,'' Arians said. "I’ll coach the guys who are there. Now guys who don’t show up? Don’t ask me about them. I’m not talking about them. Because I’m talking about the guys who show up. Hopefully, we’ll see how that goes.’’