Gerald McCoy Felt Disrespected By Tampa Bay

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Gerald McCoy’s nine-year tenure as a Buccaneer ended abruptly last month after a contract dispute.

It appeared McCoy, Tampa Bay relationship ended amicably, McCoy said he would “never say anything bad about Tampa, ” as he joined divisional rival Carolina Panthers. McCoy was being courted by dozen teams and players, including Baker Mayfield and Cleveland Browns.

McCoy ended up signing a one-year $8.5M contract with Carolina, Tampa signed Ndamukong Suh to replace McCoy. However, the divorce turned sour between the former two-parties after Tampa gave the jersey No. 93 of McCoy's to Suh.

Appearing on Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed,” McCoy discussed the fallout of the entirety. "As far as signing him, organizations have to do what they have to do when you let a player of my caliber go, so I understand that," McCoy said. "But as far as giving away my number, in the history of the Bucs, they have a ring of honor, and all of the greatest players in the organization usually get their numbers retired."

McCoy further added how Tampa handled the trades and releases of other Tampa greats.

"When [Warren] Sapp left, John Lynch, [Derrick Brooks], Lee Roy Selmon, Ronde Barber, when all these guys left, nobody wore their number," McCoy said. "They didn't give their number away, and it was a sign of respect. Well, six Pro Bowls, All-Pro four times, this is Tampa Bay, and I'm one of the best players to ever play in the organization. I'm going to say it, usually I wouldn't, but I'm going to say it, so what. It kind of shows the respect and how they feel about me, I think it does."

McCoy's biggest issue with Tampa was the organization giving his jersey number to a player that likely would only be with the team for a season.

"Them giving the number away, that's there prerogative, but the respect they showed," McCoy said. "It would be different if it was a guy who signed four or five years, but this is a one-year deal. It may seem like it's just a number, but it's bigger than that. It's respect and that was a big part of the separation between me and Tampa, period, was the respect they showed to me all offseason, it just wasn't there."

McCoy a six-time Pro Bowler was drafted 3rd overall in 2010 NFL Draft after three seasons at Oklahoma.
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