After 11 seasons in the NFL, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has decided to hang up his cleats and call it a career. The six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro announced his retirement on his Instagram account on Friday, thanking his fans, teammates, coaches and family for their support.
McCoy was drafted by the Buccaneers with the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft out of Oklahoma. He spent nine seasons with the team, becoming one of the most dominant interior defensive linemen in the league.
He recorded 54.5 sacks, 296 tackles, 79 tackles for loss, 140 quarterback hits and six forced fumbles in 123 games with the Bucs. He was also a leader in the locker room and a pillar in the community, earning the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination in 2013.
McCoy left the Buccaneers after the 2018 season and signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2019. He played in all 16 games for the Panthers, registering five sacks, 37 tackles and seven tackles for loss.
He then signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, but suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury in training camp and was released by the team. He remained a free agent until his retirement announcement.
McCoy said he was grateful for his time in the NFL and that he was ready to move on to the next chapter of his life. He also hinted that he might pursue a career in broadcasting or coaching.
“I’ve been blessed beyond measure to play this game for over a decade,” McCoy wrote. “I’ve met some amazing people along the way who have become like family to me. I’ve learned so much from this game that I can apply to my life.
I’ve grown as a man, as a father, as a husband, as a friend and as a follower of Christ. I’m thankful for every opportunity I’ve had to play this game at the highest level and to represent my city and my team with pride. I’m also thankful for every challenge and adversity I’ve faced because it made me stronger and wiser.
I want to thank God for giving me this gift and allowing me to showcase it to the world. I want to thank my wife Ebony and my kids Marcellus, Nevaeh, Germany, Gerald Jr. and Myles for being my biggest supporters and my motivation.
I want to thank my parents Gerald Sr. and Patricia for raising me right and instilling in me the values of hard work, humility and faith. I want to thank my brothers Jammie and Chris for always having my back and pushing me to be better. I want to thank my extended family, friends, mentors, coaches and trainers for their guidance, encouragement and love.
I also want to thank every teammate I’ve ever played with for being my brothers on and off the field. I want to thank every coach I’ve ever played for for teaching me something new and helping me grow as a player and a person.
I want to thank every fan who ever cheered for me or against me for making this game fun and exciting. And last but not least, I want to thank every organization I’ve ever played for – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys – for giving me a chance to live out my dream.
It’s been an incredible journey, but it’s time for me to say goodbye to football. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and exploring new opportunities in life. Maybe you’ll see me on TV or on the sidelines someday. Who knows? But whatever I do next, I’ll do it with passion, excellence and integrity, just like I did on the field.
Thank you all for everything. You’ll always have a special place in my heart.
Final Thoughts: Gerald McCoy Retires from the NFL
Gerald McCoy’s retirement from the NFL marks the end of an era for the six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro defensive tackle. McCoy’s career spanned 11 seasons, during which he established himself as one of the premier interior defensive linemen in the league.
He spent the majority of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he became a cornerstone of the team’s defense and a beloved member of the community.
McCoy’s contributions to the NFL cannot be overstated. He was a dominant force on the field, consistently disrupting opposing offenses and making life difficult for quarterbacks. But McCoy was much more than just a football player.
He was a leader in the locker room and a role model for young athletes everywhere. He was also a tireless advocate for social justice and a devoted family man.
It is always bittersweet to see a player of McCoy’s caliber retire from the game. On the one hand, we are grateful for the incredible moments and memories that he has given us over the years. On the other hand, we know that the NFL will never be quite the same without him.
As McCoy moves on to the next chapter of his life, we can only wish him the best. Whether he decides to pursue a career in broadcasting, coaching, or something else entirely, we have no doubt that he will excel.
McCoy has always approached everything he does with passion, excellence, and integrity, and we have no reason to believe that he will do any different in the future.
In closing, we would like to thank Gerald McCoy for everything he has done for the NFL and the communities he has touched. He has been a true inspiration to us all, and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.