6-Time Pro Bowl Free Agent Hints at Potential Reunion with Buccaneers

Bucs Rumors

Getty Cowboys free agent Gerald McCoy is open to returning to the Bucs.

Gerald McCoy has yet to play a snap for the Dallas Cowboys but his future continues to be one of the more intriguing storylines of the offseason in Big D. Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher reported on March 2nd that the Cowboys are “planning on a 2021 reunion” with McCoy after a quadricep injury caused the defensive tackle to miss the entire 2020 season.

Just a few days later, McCoy was talking like a player whose recruitment is still very much open. During a SiriusXM NFL interview, McCoy admitted he would “love to go back to Tampa.” McCoy spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Buccaneers before joining the Panthers in 2019 and Cowboys in 2020.

“I would love to go back to Tampa,” McCoy noted, via NFL.com. “A lot of people had, they kind of misunderstood what took place between me and Tampa. They think it was, ‘Well, he left,’ or ‘Tampa released him.’ Nah, there was more to it than that. All the issues or whatever that I had with Tampa, we worked out last season when I was with Carolina.”

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The Cowboys Released McCoy Prior to the 2020 Season

McCoy signed a three-year, $18.3 million deal with the Cowboys last offseason but the team opted to release the defensive tackle in August after he suffered a quadricep injury. The move was mostly procedural based on a voidable clause in the contract, but McCoy remained involved with the team as Fisher detailed.

“McCoy was signed to a three-year contract that included an injury escape clause due to an existing issue with his quadriceps. … and that is exactly where he sustained the injury, thus activating the clause,” Fisher detailed. “But there were no hard feelings, McCoy, even from his hospital bed, pitched in as a mentor to young teammates who he’d literally just met.”

McCoy on a Potential Return to the Bucs: ‘That Would Be Great’

The defensive tackle admitted he was pleased to see the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl and remains connected with several of his former teammates. The current Bucs roster headlined by Tom Brady is deeper than any of the Tampa teams McCoy played on to start his career.

“If there’d be a situation where I could go back there, that would be great,” McCoy added. “I still have a home there and I’ve always loved Tampa. I grew up a Tampa fan as a kid, I was blessed enough to be drafted there, and I’ve always wanted to experience winning in Tampa. So it would be great to be there.”

It is unclear whether the Bucs will make a run at McCoy, but it looks like the Cowboys may have competition if they want to re-sign the defensive lineman. It would be interesting to see how McCoy played under new Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones praised the Quinn hire during Dak Prescott’s recent press conference.

“We’ve already taken a major step with Dan Quinn,” Jones noted, per Pro Football Talk. “I think he’s going to be very special. When we did our diligence, figuring it out with coach [Mike] McCarthy and Jerry [Jones] and myself, what he would be like as a defensive coordinator, it was nothing but rave reviews. His players want to lay it on the line for him. They want to play hard for him.”

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