The 31-year-old McCoy, a six-time Pro Bowler and arguably the Bucs' most visible player over the past nine seasons on and off the field, had been a no-show for the Bucs' offseason program that began last month.
As tempting as it was to re-sign Ndamukong Suh for another season to put the Los Angeles Rams in better position to make another run at the Super Bowl, deep down the team knew moving on from the veteran was the right move.
Although Tampa might seem like an odd choice for Suh, it turns out there are multiple reasons why the defensive tackle wanted to play there.
For the vast majority of Suh's career, he's spent most of the time on the field in the opponent's backfield.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was able to work around this, but one thing that's always been true about his defense is they've always been better when he has that player who can wreak havoc as an interior pass rusher. Suh's film on the other hand shows a player who often coasts and takes plays off, a trait which could never be attached to McCoy.
Tampa Bay apparently worked with McCoy on the matter and wants him to find a suitable home. It was among the NFL's worst last season.
To be frank, in no element of his game is Suh an upgrade to McCoy. In 2018, Suh didn't get many opportunities to be himself, a pass-rushing specialist at defensive tackle. It's likely that Todd Bowles will ask a lot out of Suh with the departure of Gerald McCoy. In his 123 games with Tampa Bay, he has 54 sacks and 296 total tackles. If Cleveland is good enough for the superstar receiver, perhaps it will be good enough for a three-time first-team All-Pro like McCoy.
So how will the Bucs replace the franchise's third all-time leader in sacks? They have some solid assets there, but the addition of McCoy could bring the pass rush over the top.