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McCoy Picks The Panthers

Jason Huber
June 03, 2019 - 7:19 pm

The Gerald McCoy sweepstakes have come to an end.

The six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle will sign with the Carolina Panthers to a reported one-year, $8.5 million deal, $4 million guaranteed, with incentives up to $10.25 million.

McCoy, 31, has compiled 12 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and 45 quarterback hits across 29 games over the last two seasons.

McCoy has spent all nine years of his NFL career with the Panthers division foe Tampa Bay Buccaneers, before "mutually parting ways," with the team on May 21.

Now, the 6-foot-4, 300-pound McCoy will have the opportunity to get his revenge, facing Tampa Bay twice.

‘'Carolina was a great fit for me. Being around the guys, we just meshed and I love the instant chemistry we had," McCoy told ESPN's Josina Anderson. "They have a tradition of having a great defense. I love the players and I believe in No. 1 (quarterback Cam Newton). Ron Rivera is a proven coach and I can't wait to get started."

Named First-Team All-Pro in 2013, McCoy has been regarded as one of the league's top defensive tackles throughout his career, racking up 54.5 sacks and140 quarterback hits in 123 career games.

The third-overall pick in the 2010 draft met with the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns last week before Panthers general manager Marty Hurney made a late-week push and hosted McCoy in Charlotte on Thursday and Friday.

"Gerald is a solid football player and a guy we most certainly are interested in and would love to have here and be part of what we’re doing,” Rivera said after Monday's OTA practice. "He’s going through the process, so we’re just waiting patiently to see what the outcome is going to be.”

After using the weekend to decide, McCoy's desire to remain in the NFC South and a strong recruiting pitch from Newton led to McCoy signing.

McCoy will have the chance to make the playoffs for the first time in his career and help a Carolina team that ranked 19th in total defense and 27th in sacks.

Reportedly seeking a one-year $11 million deal, McCoy signs with the Panthers on a discount and leaves Carolina with around $8 million of salary cap space to sign first-round draft pick defensive end Brian Burns and second-round offensive lineman Greg Little.

Veteran wide receiver Torrey Smith restructured his $5 million deal to create $3 million of cap space for the Panthers.

Head coach Ron Rivera has continued to reiterate that Carolina will shift more towards a 3-4 defense from a 4-3, which would line McCoy up alongside Kawann Short and Dontari Poe.

McCoy is a significant upgrade over 2016 first-round defensive tackle Vernon Butler and Kyle Love.

Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Addison, newly signed Bruce Irvin and Burns could be coming off the edge for Carolina.

McCoy has 4.5 career sacks against the Panthers, the second most of any opponent he’s faced.

Tampa Bay signed McCoy to a 7-year extension worth $98 million, and $51.5 million guaranteed in October 2014.  

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