The Carolina Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 37-26 in London on Saturday, which spelled sweet revenge for Gerald McCoy.
McCoy was let go by the Bucs during the offseason because they did not want to pay his lofty $13 million salary. The six-time Pro Bowler decided to sign with the Panthers for less money just so he could have a shot at beating his former team.
In Week 2, the Panthers lost a Thursday night game to the Bucs. In Week 6, they got revenge with the London win. And according to McCoy, some of his advice to his teammates helped them give Jameis Winston a tough time.
McCoy told Pro Football Talk that he advised his teammates to push the middle of the pocket to disrupt Winston, who likes stepping up.
Winston threw for five interceptions and lost a fumble. The Bucs lost seven turnovers as a whole.
When you have a plus-six turnover margin, you are likely going to win like the Panthers did. We’re surprised the margin of victory wasn’t greater based on that.
Revenge appears to be a factor in why Gerald McCoy took less guaranteed money to sign with the Carolina Panthers.
McCoy, a six-time Pro Bowler, was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers late last month. Given his status as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL, McCoy had no shortage of suitors for his services.
The Baltimore Ravens brought McCoy in for a visit and reportedly offered him a one-year deal. McCoy signed with the Panthers, on a deal that reportedly contained less guaranteed money than Baltimore offered. Being in the same division as the Buccaneers and the opportunity to play against them twice next season appears to be a reason McCoy is now a Panther.
McCoy texted me "See you Week 2!!''
You may not hear McCoy say it, but the chance to play Tampa Bay twice…to say nothing of the #Bucs giving away his No. 93 to Ndamukong Suh, may have tipped the scales in the Panthers' favor.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) June 3, 2019
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport also says McCoy wanted to stay in the South and wasn’t so sure about the cities of Baltimore and Cleveland. McCoy also reportedly liked the vibe from his visit with Carolina.
McCoy spent the first nine seasons of his career with Tampa Bay after being selected No. 3 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. He still had three years remaining on his contract at the time of his release. The Buccaneers didn’t take long to seemingly find McCoy’s replacement. Not only did they sign Ndamukong Suh, but Suh took McCoy’s old jersey number. It’s not hard to see why McCoy might have September 12 and October 13 — the days Carolina plays against Tampa Bay — circled on his calendar.
- Gerald McCoy
Gerald McCoy has been pursued by multiple teams since he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the veteran defensive tackle has finally made a decision.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that McCoy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers that is worth around $8.5 million.
Panthers are giving former Buccaneers’ DT Gerald McCoy a one-year deal, per sources. It is likely to be worth about $8.5 million, per sources. https://t.co/LIE2DOC8wi
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 3, 2019
McCoy was also negotiating with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, but ultimately he decided to remain in the same division where he has spent his entire nine-year NFL career. Playing for the Panthers will give him a chance to go up against his former team twice next season, which Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports was a factor.
One thing that became clear in this process: Gerald McCoy wanted to stay in the South, where it’s familiar, rather than Baltimore or Cleveland. Loved both teams, wasn’t sure about both cities. That and the chance to play against his former team twice…
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 3, 2019
McCoy took his first visit with the Browns and was being actively recruited by Baker Mayfield, but it wasn’t enough. He should give the Panthers a nice boost on their defensive front.
- Gerald McCoy
Ndamukong Suh has worn the same jersey number since he left the Detroit Lions to sign with the Miami Dolphins back in 2015, and he is not planning to find a new one out of respect for the man he is replacing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes, Suh has decided to wear No. 93 with the Bucs, which is the same number Gerald McCoy wore there for nine seasons.
New Buccaneers’ DT Ndamukong Suh will wear No. 93 – the same number Gerald McCoy wore during his time in Tampa Bay.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 3, 2019
Suh wore No. 90 for the first five seasons of his career in Detroit, and there will be some people who say he should have gone back to that rather than slipping right into McCoy’s jersey. McCoy was a fan favorite during his time in Tampa and is one of the best defensive players in Bucs history, but Suh obviously doesn’t think much of the nostalgia. Given the reputation of the guy we are talking about, that shouldn’t come as a huge shock.
Free agent defensive lineman Gerald McCoy is expected to make a decision on a new team soon, and Baker Mayfield is doing whatever he can to ensure that his new team is the Cleveland Browns.
On Saturday, McCoy said he is actively working to recruit McCoy, a fellow Oklahoma Sooner, to join him in Cleveland ahead of the new season.
#Browns Mayfield said at his youth ProCamp that he’s actively helping to recruit Gerald McCoy, his fellow former Sooner
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) June 1, 2019
Mayfield has frequently shown himself to be an eager recruiter when it comes to things like this, and he’s clearly hoping their shared Oklahoma ties prove helpful here. McCoy is reportedly down to three finalists, of which the Browns are one, but they face stiff competition from two other potential contenders.
Gerald McCoy has multiple teams that are interested in signing him, and the veteran defensive tackle is expected to make a decision in the near future.
McCoy visited with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers over the past week, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that he will choose between one of those three teams. The 31-year-old could make his decision as early as this weekend.
With his visit to the #Panthers over, free agent DT Gerald McCoy will take the weekend to make a decision. It doesn’t sound like a call is imminent right now. He’s visited the #Browns, #Ravens and Carolina, and could join either in time for minicamp.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 31, 2019
Rapoport said on NFL Network that the Ravens are confident they can sign McCoy, and we know the same is true of the Browns. Cleveland head coach Freddie Kitchens said as much when discussing McCoy earlier in the week. The Panthers also just had one of their veteran players take a sizable pay cut, and that could put them in position to add McCoy.
McCoy was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this month, and he said he feels reinvigorated by a dietary change he made. Teams obviously believe he still has plenty of good football left.
Gerald McCoy visited Cleveland last week and left town without a contract agreement, but Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens remains confident in the team’s chances of signing the star defensive tackle.
Kitchens was asked by reporters on Thursday if he is optimistic the Browns can sign McCoy, to which he simply replied, “I am.” He also said his meeting with McCoy last Thursday and Friday “went as good as it could.”
“I like the kid,” Kitchens said, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I like the person, of course I like the player, but more importantly just getting know the kid and I really like him.”
There has been no shortage of interest in McCoy since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released him, and he visited with the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers after stopping in Cleveland. Kitchens said the Browns welcome him weighing all of his options.
“We want Gerald to go out and look at other places because when he makes the commitment here, we want him to be all in because everybody that’s going to be here is gonna be all in and that’s what we need to get to where we’re going,” Kitchens said.
It should be a good sign for the Browns that McCoy took his first visit with them, and reports have made it seem like they are the front-runners to sign him. Cleveland has certainly become a more appealing destination for free agents with all the big acquisitions they have made this offseason, and it would not be a surprise if McCoy wanted to be a part of what they are building.