Panthers DT Gerald McCoy takes issue with Buccaneers giving Ndamukong Suh his number
Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy did not seem too bothered when he heard he had been replaced by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in almost every sense of the word. It appears he has since changed his stance on the matter.
Not only did Suh take McCoy’s spot on the defense, but they also allow him to wear his old No. 93 jersey for the 2019 NFL season. He admitted during an appearance on FOX Sports 1 that the move is telling of why things went south in Tampa Bay:
“When all these guys left, they nobody wore their number,” McCoy said. “It was a sign of respect. I’m one of the best players to ever play in the organization. I’m gonna say it, usually I wouldn’t but so what. It kinda shows the respect and how they feel about me. I think it does. . . . 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. The respect they showed to me all offseason, it just wasn’t there.”
McCoy had initially dispelled any notion that he was bothered by the news. He insisted that he was focused on starting a new era in Carolina. Unfortunately, it is clear that the veteran has been heavily bothered by their decision.
McCoy’s frustration is certainly understandable. There is plenty of truth to his comments about his legacy with the Buccaneers. He enjoyed plenty of success in Tampa Bay after being named a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro. Rather than paying homage to one of their great players in franchise history, the team has quickly attempted to replace him with someone that only signed a one-year deal.
Regardless, McCoy will need to get back to his original frame of mind as a new member of the Panthers. He will have ample opportunities to exact his revenge on his former team in 2019 as a member of an NFC South rival.