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Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not asked Gerald McCoy to take a pay cut

Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not asked defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to take a pay cut.

There have been rumblings about McCoy needing to take a pay cut so he can stay with the Bucs. However, the team hasn’t spoken to him directly about the issue, per the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud (via Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith).

That’s the word from Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, who reports the Bucs have had no discussions with McCoy about reducing the $13 million he is owed in 2019.

That’s a surprise, given that the whole issue seems to be that the Bucs no longer think McCoy is worth the kind of money that he was worth when he signed his contract.

Perhaps the Bucs are so down on McCoy that they don’t see any point in even asking him to take a pay cut, because they want him to take a pay cut so steep that they’d know he’d say no.

According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, none of the $13 million the Bucs owe McCoy this season is guaranteed. Tampa Bay doesn’t have enough cap space to accommodate McCoy and the combined $9 million for draft picks Devin White, Sean Bunting, Jamel Dean, Mike Edwards, Anthony Nelson, Matt Gay, Scott Miller, and Terry Beckner, Jr.

Laine also argues, “McCoy’s production — which is starting to decline — also doesn’t warrant that large salary.”

When Laine spoke with Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht about the pay cut issue prior to the 2019 NFL Draft last month, he said he’ll keep matters between the team and McCoy “private.”

It would take an enormous effort to retain McCoy. That would entail “a Herculean effort of restructuring contracts of other players,” per Laine. The best-case scenario: trading McCoy and receiving draft compensation.

The 31-year-old McCoy has spent the entirety of his nine-year NFL career in Tampa Bay. Will he return for a 10th? It should be interesting to find out.