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‘Real Chance’ Buccaneers move on from Gerald McCoy

Gerald McCoy’s future with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is cloudy. The former All-Pro could be let go with a new coaching staff in tow.

According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, a scheme change on the defensive side of the ball, along with an expensive price tag, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may see a reason to move on from defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

Given that the Bucs are about $16.5 million under the salary cap going into 2019, there is a real chance McCoy won’t return.

For so long, McCoy’s name has been synonymous with the Bucs. For a few seasons, he was without a doubt the face of the franchise and a dominant force along the defensive line.

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will bring in a new system to Tampa Bay. Some players may not fit in the new scheme and McCoy may be one of those players. He is more suited to play in a 4-3 style of defense, playing alongside another tackle.

However, McCoy may be bumped outside with Vita Vea becoming a primary nose tackle in a 3-4 front. The move wouldn’t best suit McCoy’s skill set and it could be a reason to move on from the former All-Pro.

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Now, NFL teams only play in their base defense on about 20 percent of their snaps, so it may not be a massive change for McCoy. The reason the Bucs may cut McCoy would be mainly due to his expensive contract.

McCoy is set to make $13 million next season and none of it will be guaranteed. With only $16 million in cap space to work with, it makes plenty of sense for the Bucs to free up money to address needs at other positions.

McCoy’s production has taken a significant dip over the past few seasons. He had his lowest tackle total since 2011 and his 38 pressures according to Pro Football Focus was his third-lowest mark in a season.

Plus, Tampa Bay could be comfortable with Vea taking over in the middle after his fantastic finish to the 2018 campaign. Vea had just 12 fewer pressures than McCoy last season despite playing half the amount of snaps.

As McCoy gets older and more expensive, the end may be near for the former third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Next: 3 Buccaneers that will improve under Bruce Arians

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