TAMPA, FL – SEP 24: Gerald McCoy (93) of the Bucs attempts to get the fans involved during the regular season game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 24, 2018 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Dating back to the start of the off-season, there was speculation about whether or not defensive tackle Gerald McCoy would be back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next season. Those rumors had a short lifespan — up until the recent NFL owners meetings. Head coach Bruce Arians‘ words in an interview with reporters at those meetings re-ignited the flames. Now, Michael Lombardi reports on Twitter that the Buccaneers are shopping McCoy in trade talks.

They are shopping him hard, but getting little interest—Gerald McCoy not attending first day of Bucs’ off-season workouts https://t.co/22MxvDRMtm

— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) April 3, 2019

Lombardi’s report from Wednesday also added that the Buccaneers are struggling to get any significant interest from other teams. This comes as a bit of a surprise, as McCoy has been on the better end of the spectrum of the NFL’s best defensive linemen for some time.

Since becoming the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, McCoy has registered 296 total tackles, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and 22 passes defended in 123 career games. What stands out the most about McCoy, however, is his 54.5 career sacks. A defensive tackle’s job in most schemes is not to rush the passer, but rather to stop the run. His ability to get to the quarterback from the trenches should be enticing to interested teams. McCoy could certainly bolster just about any team’s defensive interior, but to this point, it would appear that NFL teams have a difference in opinion.

Perhaps McCoy’s contract is one of, if not the largest factor of his trade market. According to Spotrac, McCoy has three years remaining on his six-year, $95.2 million extension he signed with Tampa Bay back in 2014. The 31-year-old is due base salaries of $13 million in 2019, $10 million in 2020, and $10.4 million in 2021 — a combined $33.4 million over the next three seasons.

How Tampa Bay Can Increase Interest

Though it’s likely the main reason McCoy has a quiet market is his contract, there are ways to work around that from Tampa Bay’s perspective. If his contract is indeed the issue for a potential trade partner, Tampa Bay should entertain the thought of paying a portion of McCoy’s salary over the remainder of his deal. This would soften the large blow that is McCoy’s cap hit. And, Tampa Bay simply saying that they would be willing to pay some of the salaries could be enough to get a few more teams to return their calls.

A second method the Buccaneers can use to wake up the market is by lowering their asking price. The return Tampa Bay wants for McCoy is unknown, but if it has been this difficult for the Buccaneers to find someone that’s interested to do a deal for someone as good as McCoy, it could certainly be because they want too much.

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TAMPA, FL – SEP 24: Gerald McCoy (93) of the Bucs attempts to get the fans involved during the regular season game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 24, 2018 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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