Panthers front seven on defense are shaping up to be one of the best in the league with the signing of Gerald McCoy. He brings a veteran superstar role for the defensive line being a 6x Pro Bowler, three-time First-Team All-Pro, and 31 years old.
McCoy was supposed to earn $13 million in 2019 with the Bucs, but they could not afford that. After failed attempts to try to trade him, they released Gerald McCoy on May 20th, which ended his career with the Bucs that spanned from 2010, when Buccaneers first drafted McCoy third overall, to his 2018 season. The Bucs later went on to sign former Lions, Dolphins, and Rams defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh. He was also given McCoy’s former number, 93, which probably made Gerald McCoy decision easier for picking a team which will make more sense later.
It was said that Ravens, Bengals, Falcons, Patriots, Brown, Colts, Saints, and of course Panthers were showing interest in the former Buccaneer. He decided to narrow that down to Browns, Ravens, and Panthers. McCoy said his two main criteria for selecting his new team was that he wanted to play for a contender, and wanted to feel comfortable in the city, with the coaches, and players.
His first visit was with the Browns on May 24th. His second visit was with the Ravens on May 29th which he was pretty comfortable with after leaving Baltimore. His final visit was with the Panthers. It lasted two days. The first day he had dinner with the team. The second day was a workout with the team. Coach Ron Rivera felt great with the visit and felt his chances of getting the superstar defensive tackle was high. McCoy would take the weekend to make his decision and would announce it on the Monday right after.
The Panthers adjusted wide receiver Torrey Smith’s contract which made room for $2 million more in Cap Room. They also released offensive lineman, Matt Khalil, which opened up $7 million and cap room and made a lot of Panthers fans happy.
What gave the Panthers the edge was that they play the Bucs twice a year. That means McCoy can get back on the team that gave his number to the new player. With McCoy signing with the Panthers, it allows him to play against the Buccaneers in Week 2 at home and Week 6 in London.
His full contract was reported by Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) via Twitter. 1-year, $4M guaranteed, up to $10.25M. It was said that one of the other two teams (likely Ravens) offered him double that, but I guess revenge was worth more.