Gerald McCoy Retires: Where Does He Rank Among Buccaneers Greats?

Gerald McCoy Retires: Where Does He Rank Among Buccaneers Greats?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

With the poignant gesture of hanging up a pair of orange cleats, a No. 93 jersey, and with the succinct message of “Thank you,” longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy announced his retirement today in a sentimental video that reflected on his career.

McCoy was the Bucs’ first-round pick, the third selection overall, in the 2010 NFL draft.  For nine seasons, from 2010 through 2018, he was a stalwart defender manning the middle of Tampa Bay’s defense with 54.5 sacks and 297 total tackles. As the Buccaneers playoff chances changed over the years, McCoy remained a constant through nine seasons in Tampa Bay.

He was named to the Pro Bowl as a Buc for six straight seasons and was a first- or second-team All-Pro three times. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl Selections utilized Pro Football Reference to calculate the number of Pro Bowl Selections for Tampa Bay’s outstanding players to help place McCoy among the franchise’s all-time greats.

RankPlayer Pro Bowls
1LB: Derrick Brooks11
2DT: Warren Sapp7
T-3 FB: Mike Alstott 6
T-3 DT: Gerald McCoy 6
T-3 DE: Lee Roy Selmon 6
T-6 CB: Ronde Barber 5
T-6 SS: John Lynch 5
T-6 LB: Hardy Nickerson 5
9 WR: Mike Evans 4

Hall of Fame Linebacker Derrick Brooks has the most in franchise history with 11. McCoy trails only Warren Sapp (seven times) for the most Pro Bowl selections by a Buccaneers defensive tackle.

In Tampa Bay history, McCoy’s six Pro Bowl selections ties him with Hall of Fame defensive end Lee Roy Selmon and fullback Mike Alstott. Cornerback Ronde Barber, strong safety John Lynch and linebacker Hardy Nickerson were named five times, and still-active wide receiver Mike Evans, four times.

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound McCoy was extraordinarily consistent and reliable. He had a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2013, went on to have 8.5 sacks in each of the next two seasons, seven sacks in 2016, then six in each of the following seasons. He was a model of durability playing in 13 or more games in eight of his nine Tampa Bay seasons.

The former Oklahoma Sooner added to his NFL career statistics with a single season in Carolina when, at age 31 in the 2019 campaign, he had five sacks playing in 16 games. Unfortunately his tremendous play on the field didn't translate to a league championship, as the Buccaneers Super Bowl odds couldn't keep pace with the dominant Saints and Falcons during his Tampa tenure.

He finished his NFL career with 59.5 sacks, 86 tackles-for-loss, 334 total tackles, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.  His last game was as a Las Vegas Raider in 2021 when he left an early-season contest with a leg injury.

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Bill Ordine
Expert Opinion Columnist

Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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