The man who made Gerald McCoy a first-round draft pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010 is surprised that, nine years later, the team decided to release the defensive tackle.
Mark Dominik, former Buccaneers general manager and a regular co-host on SiriusXM NFL Radio, said during an appearance on The Red Zone Tuesday that he understood the business element involved with the club’s decision to part ways with McCoy.
‘I understand the salary tie, but I still think the player’s a very talented player’
However, Dominik believes that McCoy still has plenty to offer.
“I think that’s the biggest surprise I’ve had was that they decided to make this move, understanding the fact that losing him was a big loss, I think, to their franchise just because of the disruption he creates inside.”
“I was surprised that Tampa decided to let him go,” he told Bill Lekas and Ed McCaffrey. “I understand the salary tie, but I still think the player’s a very talented player. I think he’ll have no problem finding a home. I guess I was more surprised just for the simple fact that losing (end) Jason Pierre-Paul to the injury he’s had and now taking away Gerald McCoy, that’s a lot to take off a defensive line. And especially a team that’s trying to find a way to get back to playoff football — nine, 10, 11 wins. They haven’t been able to do that.”
‘I don’t know where they’re going to get their pass rush’
To that end, Dominik is baffled that the Buccaneers made a move that, at the moment, looks as if it will do more harm than good on the field.
“I think that’s the biggest surprise I’ve had was that they decided to make this move, understanding the fact that losing him was a big loss, I think, to their franchise just because of the disruption he creates inside,” Dominik said. “I don’t know where they’re going to get their pass rush. But you’ve got to make business decisions.”
‘I think that rubbed a guy that’s played on that team and for that town for almost a decade wrong’
He said he believes the situation with McCoy “became personal” when he didn’t show up for voluntary offseason workouts.
“I know that, for a fact, when Coach (Bruce) Arians got introduced, there was a question right off the bat from one of the reporters in Tampa, like, ‘What’s the status for Gerald McCoy?'” Dominik said. “And (GM) Jason Licht, the general manager, didn’t paint the rosiest picture for Gerald. He’s like, ‘Well, we’ll have to wait and see, I don’t know.’ And that’s fine. But I think it could have been phrased more like, ‘Look, the coach and I haven’t even had the chance to meet on personnel.’ Instead it created a big ambiguity. And I think that rubbed a guy that’s played on that team and for that town for almost a decade wrong. And I think it rubbed his agent really wrong, and I think that’s where it became a feel, a bad seed. So then Gerald decides, and his agent decides, ‘Hey, look, we’re not going to show up. We’re just going to sit this thing out for a while and let them decide.’
‘It’s a hard player to replace’
“And I think that just started to frustrate everybody and I think that’s a choice they decided to make as a player and an agent. I think the club just decided, ‘Look, life without him may be better than life with him, and go take the money put it somewhere else.’ But it’s a hard player to replace. You know, the grass isn’t always greener. I think Gerald McCoy is still going to be a guy that you can put in your system, he’s got great initial quickness, and he’s still going to get you six to 10 sacks a year. That’s just who I think he is.”
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