The Carolina Panthers came out of nowhere to shock the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns when it was announced on Monday that six-time Pro-Bowler Gerald McCoy would be signing with the team, spurning the two reported favorites to land his services.
What makes the move perplexing, however, is the now-unveiled contract details that the Ravens were willing to offer McCoy. Though the 31-year-old elected on signing a one-year, $8 million deal with the Panthers, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says that the Ravens offered McCoy "at least twice that in guaranteed money."
So why would a defensive stalwart like McCoy turn down a significant higher pay day to play for a Carolina team that finished third in the NFC South last season at 7-9 over a Ravens team what won the AFC North at 10-6?
Isn't it obvious? The lauded, elusive revenge tour that so few athletes have a chance at being a part of. In Carolina, McCoy will have the opportunity to line up against Tampa Bay, the franchise that cut him loose after nine dominant seasons, twice a year.
And when you consider just how confident the well-informed Rapoport was that Gerald would sign with the Ravens or Browns, the revenge tour notion becomes that much more plausible.
Free agent DT Gerald McCoy’s visit to the #Ravens has essentially ended, though his agent and the Baltimore brass will now speak to see if they can do a deal. At this point, it’s #Browns or #Ravens for McCoy. If the price isn’t right, McCoy could visit a third team.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 29, 2019
Though its refreshing to see that annual average salary turned out to not mean squat to McCoy, it's curious to see that, despite already being 31, he opted for the revenge tour over competing for a championship or even a long-term deal.
With money not weighing heavily on his mind, McCoy made the decision to remain in division as he looks forward to meeting his former squad twice in the 2019 campaign.
Besides, if he can prove he's still got a good deal of gas left in the tank, he could go after a sizable contract next season.