Team makes two-time Pro Bowler highest-paid defensive tackle in NFLThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced that they have signed defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a seven-year contract extension. The deal, which makes McCoy the highest-paid defensive tackle in the National Football League, goes through the 2021 season.
A press conference with McCoy, Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht and Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith is scheduled for Monday at 4:00 p.m. ET.
“From the moment Lovie and I arrived here, we knew it was vital for us to keep Gerald in Tampa Bay long term as one of the cornerstones of our franchise,” said Licht. “With the backing of the Glazer family, we were able to accomplish that. On the field, Gerald is one of the best players in the National Football League, who has been extremely productive and will be for years to come. We are happy to reward someone that has a rare work ethic, which not only makes him an elite player, but serves as an example for our entire team. His commitment, character and leadership are attributes that make him a truly special person, who will play a pivotal role in our future success.”
McCoy, 26, was originally drafted by the Buccaneers with the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and has started all 56 games that he has played, earning Pro Bowl honors following each of the past two seasons. McCoy also received first-team Associated Press All-Pro recognition for his 2013 season, in which he registered career highs with 9.5 sacks, 50 tackles and four passes defensed.
Last season, McCoy was rated as Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated defensive tackle and recorded the second-highest grade the group has ever given (2008-present). He led the NFL in combined sacks, quarterback hits and pressure (79.5), and topped defensive tackles in tackles for loss (15), while his sack total ranked fourth.
In five games this season, McCoy has logged 17 tackles, including six for loss, two sacks and one pass defensed. In the season opener, McCoy logged eight tackles, including two for loss, and one sack. Despite breaking his hand in Week 2 – missing nearly two full games and having a bye week – McCoy is again PFF’s top-rated defensive tackle, tied for the fifth-most total pressures and the second-most quarterback hits among players at his position.
In 2012, McCoy anchored the NFL’s No. 1-ranked rushing defense, which allowed a franchise-record low 82.5 yards per game. He also chipped in 5.0 sacks, 30 tackles, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
A three-time team captain, McCoy is also one of the Buccaneers’ most active and visible leaders in the community. He continuously donates to charitable groups throughout the Tampa Bay area, such as sponsoring the “Gerald’s Little Giants” Front Row Fans section at Buccaneers home games, and surprising single-mother families with toys, gift cards and meals around the holidays. McCoy also serves as spokesperson for the Glazer Family Foundation’s Vision Program, promoting the importance of healthy eyesight and wearing eyeglasses for Title I students throughout Tampa Bay. The 2012 Pop Warner Little Scholars “Inspiration to Youth” Award Winner has dedicated his free time to serving others, including visits to local hospitals, supporting the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and hosting movie outings for fans.
McCoy and his wife, Ebony, have four children. He was born February 25, 1988, in Oklahoma City, Okla., the son of Gerald and the late Patricia McCoy.
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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT GERALD MCCOY
New Orleans Saints Tackle Terron Armstead
“About as elite of a get-off that you would see in NFL history, really. I mean this guy’s moving before we’re moving. So we just have to try to counter that, knock him off his base as much as we can, try to do some things to change up his get-off tempo. That get-off alone, it affects both the run and the pass. I mean, he lives in the backfield.”
New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady
“He’s a great player. He’s in the backfield on every play. He’s just a guy that you can’t ever not pay attention to. The negative plays, the negative plays in the run game, the sacks in the pass game, a lot of times, come from him. He’s a great player. He really leads the charge for that whole defensive front.”
Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll
“You can’t take your eyes off of him. He’s playing so hard and moving so well, he’s so active and he’s lived up to everything that was asked of him or expected of him, I guess, coming out. He’s a great kid. I remember we tried to get him to come our way [to the University of Southern California] way back when. He’s a guy that I’ve always kept an eye on, he’s a very good football player and he’s a great guy to build your defense around.”
St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
“He’s an outstanding player and, from an offensive standpoint, you have to account for him, you have to know where he is. He’s tough to run at, he’s tough to run away from and, certainly, you’re going to have to get help, at times, to your guards and to your center from a pass-rush standpoint.”
Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin
“Yeah, he jumps off the film. He has exceptional quickness. He can run. He can do both, he can play the run well he can make plays outside the box. He’s not just a guy who plays tackle-to-tackle. He can get to the perimeter and chase a guy down. He has strength to hold point, and he’s a very good pass rusher. He jumps off the tape. He’s very, very good.”
Hall of Fame Defensive Tackle Warren Sapp
“Sacks, Pro Bowls, All-Pros - [McCoy’s] going to wipe me from the record book in Tampa. [He’s going to] wipe me totally out. Trust me, the sky’s the limit for this kid.”
New Orleans Saints Tackle Zach Strief
“Gerald McCoy, to me, is as good of a football player as we see every year. His get-off is as good as anybody in the NFL. I’d like to say that he’s cheating sometimes. He’s guessing, but he’s good at that. I think he’s very good at getting a feel for when that guy’s going, when the ball’s coming out. And he’s explosive, as explosive a three technique as you’re gonna see. He can essentially take away your greatest advantage as an offensive lineman, which is that we know the snap count and you don’t.
“And honestly I think he’s a guy that plays the game the right way. I respect him as a player and as a guy. You just kind of get the feeling -- I’ve never seen him practice, but I’d be willing to bet you he works his butt off in practice. He does things the right way, goes about things the right way. He’s a really good athlete, works hard, pursues, penetrates [and is] stout [and] strong. There’s probably no other D-lineman I respect in the NFL more than him.”