TAMPA — Gerald McCoy didn’t like the way his career finished in Tampa Bay with his release after nine seasons, so he plans to write a new ending. The Carolina Panthers defensive tackle says whenever he is done playing, he’ll retire as a Buccaneer.
"I’m going to retire a Buc. I can tell you that now,'' McCoy told reporters in Charlotte Tuesday. "Yeah. What do they do? One day contracts? Ten hour contracts? Whatever. I don’t know what it’s called. I’m going to retire (as) a Buc. I’ve already talked to owners, we’ve already established that. So regardless of where I go, whether I’m here a couple more years, whether I go somewhere else, when I officially retire, I’m going to go and retire as a Buccaneer.''
The Bucs play the Panthers in Charlotte on Thursday Night Football.
McCoy, the third overall pick of the Bucs in the NFL draft out of Oklahoma, was released in May, in part to get out of his $13-million contract for 2019.
The six-time Pro Bowl player had little communication with the Bucs or new coach Bruce Arians during the off-season before his release. He also wasn’t happy that the team gave his No. 93 jersey to free agent Ndamukong Suh.
Among the things McCoy said Thursday:
He would like for Thursday’s game to be in Tampa so he could be “booed.” by Tampa Bay fans, not because fans don’t like him, but that he’s playing a division rival.
He said he was mad at Mike Evans for not having a better game against the 49ers because he’s on his Fantasy Football team.
McCoy said he told quarterback Jameis Winston to keep his head up following a three-interception performance in a 31-17 loss to the Niners.
"I texted Jameis and told him, keep his head up. Media has been trying to tear him down. People are saying, "Ah, same old Jameis.' All this stuff. I just told him, "Keep your head up. It’s the next game.' Not this game. Skip this game and go to the next one. Play bad in this one and then fix it.
"I told him, "Keep your head up. Don’t worry about what they said. We all have bad games.''
Winston said McCoy was a positive influence on him during his career.
However, McCoy didn’t have much to say about Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who said recently that the former Bucs star was not a ‘legend,’ among Bucs players and shouldn’t have his number retired.
When asked about his legacy with the Bucs, McCoy said, "Go ask Warren Sapp.''
A look ahead at Bruce Arians’ first year in Tampa Bay and a critical season for Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers.