Carolina Panthers Gerald McCoy responds to recent criticism
New Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy issues classy response to recent criticism.
Gerald McCoy joined the Carolina Panthers after spending nearly a decade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneeers and an offseason spent being courted by a handful of teams. The veteran lineman is a six-time Pro Bowl nominee with one first-team All Pro selection. He’s registered at least one sack every season, averaging six per year, and should boost the Carolina pass rush alongside Kawann Short.
However, it isn’t his recent addition that has sparked controversy but his departure from Tampa. McCoy was supposedly released in an effort to free up salary cap space and add youth along the Buccaneers front line but he was replaced by former No. 2 overall pick, Ndamukong Suh – who was selected one spot ahead of McCoy in the same draft (2010). Adding salt to the wound, Suh was then given McCoy’s old number to wear, essentially eliminating a decade worth of memories.
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McCoy has suggested joining the Panthers was not about revenge against his former team, who he’ll have two opportunities to face this season, but about the brotherhood and opportunity offered within the Carolina locker room. Nothing more had really been mentioned as both teams prepare for the upcoming season until former Tampa Bay defensive stand out and Hall of Fame member Warren Sapp decided to weigh in on McCoy’s comments to PewterReport.com.
"“You damn sure don’t get legendary status or tell somebody to put your jersey up if you didn’t take them to any playoff games … Not one playoff game, not even a wild card [with McCoy]. I went to nine [playoff games]. We went 5-4.”"
McCoy’s classy response via Twitter leaves plenty open to interpretation but keeps this potential feud out of the public eye – for now. Sapp supposedly served as a mentor for McCoy during his time in Tampa but his recent statements may have strained that relationship.
Revenge may not be why McCoy is in Carolina but he’ll have an opportunity to get it early when the Buccaneers visit Charlotte just four days after 2019 kicks off in a Week 2, Thursday night game.