The Buccaneers were unsuccessful in their attempts to trade the defensive lineman. McCoy had been a no-show for the Bucs' voluntary off-season program that began in April. He previously had been a fixture at the optional workouts throughout his career.
"These decisions are very difficult, personally and professionally," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. "Over the past nine years, Gerald has been a cornerstone of this franchise and a leader in our community. Parting ways with a player and person such as Gerald is one of the toughest responsibilities of this job.
"We wish Gerald, along with his wife, Ebony, and the entire McCoy family continued success and thank them for everything they have meant to our organization and community."
McCoy was scheduled to earn a base salary of $13 million in the 2019 season, according to Spotrac. His salary-cap figure became a source of contention, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He had three years remaining on his deal, which would have kept him with the franchise through the 2021 season.
Tampa Bay selected McCoy in the first round (No. 3 overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, which tied for the third-most in team history. Only Pro Football Hall of Fame defenders Derrick Brooks (11) and Warren Sapp (seven) had more than McCoy with the Buccaneers.