12up Logo12up Logo

Ex-Bucs DT Gerald McCoy Signs With Division-Rival Panthers

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 09:  Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during warm-ups before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images)
Will Vragovic

When all things were considered equal, it seems Gerald McCoy preferred a twice-a-year shot at a dish best served cold.

After being shipped out of Tampa Bay and replaced immediately (both positionally and numerically) by Ndamukong Suh, McCoy has made his free agent decision.

He's signing with the Carolina Panthers, a team that, unlike the other finalists in the Browns and Ravens, offers him unfettered access to his old squad and a favorable DT rotation.

With a thin crop at the position, highlighted by Kawann Short and Dontari Poe, McCoy will be an immediate difference-maker for a team that generally profits, back to their 2016 Super Bowl run, from having big bodies stuffing the middle.

Though McCoy seemed tempted by Cleveland and Baltimore, it appears he was less than comfortable with the prospects of...actually living in those two places.

Now, he'll get a chance to chase Jameis Winston and Ronald Jones around twice in 2019. Comfort and revenge: what more can a former franchise icon really ask for, after dealing with an unsettled future?