Gerald McCoy said Wednesday he is peeved that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave his No. 93 away so quickly to Ndamukong Suh after releasing him and that he feels disrespected by the lack of communication he had with the team’s new coaching staff.
The defensive tackle had previously been mostly quiet about the Buccaneers, who released him last month after nine seasons with the team, but he took a different tact on Wednesday when he was a guest on FS1’s “The Undisputed.”
McCoy, who was selected for six Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro four times with the Buccaneers, said that the franchise kept the jersey numbers of other noted players out of circulation after they left the organization, mentioning Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Derrick Brooks, Lee Roy Selmon and Ronde Barber in particular. He feels he deserved the same treatment.
“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. It kind of shows the respect and how they feel about me,” he said.
McCoy signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers earlier this month after also making visits with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. Suh signed a one-year deal with the Bucs shortly after Tampa Bay released McCoy.
“It may seem like it’s just a number, but it’s bigger than that. It’s respect. 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,” he said.
McCoy said he is particularly bothered by the silent treatment he received from coach Bruce Arians and his staff before he was released. He said he didn’t receive any phone calls from the Buccaneers’ coaches.
“I spoke to more people in Baltimore’s, Cleveland’s and Carolina’s staff than I spoke to the Bucs all offseason, and that’s a fact,” he said.
“I earned that respect,” McCoy added. “Tampa hasn’t been a winning team, and we all know it’s hard to be considered a Pro Bowl, All-Pro person on a losing team, and I did it six years straight. That’s hard to do. For the respect I received after doing that, they showed none, and I don’t know why.”
Now with one of the Buccaneers’ NFC South rivals, McCoy indicated he is looking forward to getting a chance to play his former team twice in 2019.
“It’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Asked if he had the dates circled in red, he said, “No, it’s in blue now.”