TAMPA — There really is nothing like Buc Luck. Tampa Bay football history is a cyclonic series of events. You could sell tickets to it, if not Bucs football games.
Jason Pierre-Paul, come on down!
Pierre-Paul, born again as a terror, the Bucs’ best pass rusher in 2018, might miss the 2019 season after reportedly fracturing his neck in an early morning single-car accident in South Florida.
It’s the luck where Doug Williams and Bo Jackson still haunt a franchise.
It’s the luck where Lee Roy Selmon, the greatest Buc of all, saw his career end after he was injured … at the Pro Bowl.
It’s the luck that saw the Bucs trade Steve Young to a Hall-of-Fame career in San Francisco and not sign a kid named John Randle out of training camp, allowing Randle to pursue a Hall of Fame career with the Vikings.
It’s the luck where the trainer snips off the tip of Alvin Harper’s finger.
It’s MRSA luck.
JPP’s injury was revealed the same day it was announced that all-time Buc Ronde Barber will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at the Sept. 22 game against the Giants. Sometimes I feel for the Bucs. There is the Ring of Honor, and then there is the Ring of Fire.
Will they ever get free of the latter?
The Bucs might have lost the man who broke the long-standing Simeon Rice barrier last season with 121/2 sacks.
The Bucs and Gerald McCoy are at arm’s length, at best. It’s awkward, in fact.
The Bucs didn’t draft an edge rusher, though Josh Allen was available.
Get the picture?
As a bonus, the Bucs can’t afford McCoy at his salary, mostly because they have cap problems despite being uniformly awful.
Cursed. Even with an exciting new coach, Bruce Arians, and an exciting new staff and an exciting first-round draft pick, linebacker Devin White. Cursed.
If Buc Luck holds, McCoy won’t return. If Buc Luck holds, between JPP and McCoy, this team loses roughly half of its 38 sacks from last season.
On the other hand, if Buc Luck doesn’t hold, McCoy returns to play here on a restructured deal despite the team, in the form of Arians, taking a few shots at his abilities and passion while he has been absent.
I wonder why anyone with any pride and as many Pro Bowls as McCoy would allow himself to be seen as crawling back here. It seems demeaning.
Thing is, McCoy wouldn’t be crawling. No, he’d be saving the Bucs, fighting the forces of Buc Luck. Why, the Bucs would even let him wear his Batman costume to camp. They need a superhero right about now.
While they’re at it, they should cut JPP, nothing personal, and find another pass rusher, maybe free agent Ziggy Ansah if his shoulder is okay and before someone else scoops him up.
Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene
Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
Look, I would have traded both McCoy and JPP last season, when their market value could have brought the Bucs draft picks. That ship sailed. The Bucs went for fool’s gold at 3-3.
Ah, Buc Luck. Look, what matters first is that Pierre-Paul wasn’t killed, though I’d like to see the charts from the hospital that released him and his FRACTURED NECK. But maybe he avoids surgery, recovers, comes back and even plays some next season. It’s not a time to judge.
All I know is that where once the Bucs had a pass rush, now there isn’t one, and pass rush is everything in hunting down QBs in the QB NFC South. Josh Allen at No. 5 has never looked better.
Maybe McCoy saves the day. Or maybe he goes someplace else and gets the 10 sacks he could never get in a season in Tampa Bay.
It would be just plain old Buc Luck.
Contact Martin Fennelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 731-8029. Follow @mjfennelly