TAMPA — Signing two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a contract extension has been defined by coach Lovie Smith's as one of his top “priorities'' for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It's high enough that the Bucs have already taken the first step toward making that happen.
Though it could be weeks, if not months, before a deal is eventually consummated, the Bucs have reached out to the agent for McCoy in an effort to start up the negotiation process, agent Ben Dogra told the Tribune.
Dogra refused to offer any other details on the matter and Bucs general manager Jason Licht did not respond to requests for comment issue, so it's uncertain how far talks between the parties have gone or if they've started.
McCoy, who has had 14.5 sacks the past two years, is entering the fifth and final year of his $63.4 million rookie contact and is scheduled to earn $10.95 million in base salary this year.
The negotiations between McCoy and the Bucs are almost certain to run along a path parallel to that being ridden by fellow defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and the Detroit Lions.
Suh, who was drafted one drafted second overall, one spot ahead of McCoy, and is also entering the final year of his contract, so it's possible the concurrent negotiations could impact each other.