McCoy made the comments Wednesday on Fox Sports 1's Undisputed.
"As far as signing him, organizations have to do what they have to do when you let a player of my caliber go, so I understand that," McCoy said. "But as far as giving away my number, in the history of the Bucs, they have a ring of honor, and all of the greatest players in the organization usually get their numbers retired."
McCoy pointed to other situations when great players left the team and the Buccaneers didn't give their numbers to other players.
"They didn't give their number away, and it was a sign of respect," McCoy said. "Well, six Pro Bowls, All-Pro four times, this is Tampa Bay, and I'm one of the best players to ever play in the organization. I'm going to say it, usually I wouldn't, but I'm going to say it, so what. It kind of shows the respect and how they feel about me, I think it does."
McCoy, 31, was the No. 3 overall pick by the Buccaneers in the 2010 NFL Draft. His tenure with the Buccaneers included making the Pro Bowl every season from 2012 through 2017. McCoy signed a six-year, $95.2 million contract extension with the Buccaneers in 2014, but was released in May.
He signed a one-year deal worth up to $10.25 million with the Panthers on June 4. Suh signed a one-year pact worth up to $10 million with the Buccaneers on May 23.
"Them giving the number away, that's their prerogative, but the respect they showed. It would be different if it was a guy who signed four or five years," McCoy said. "This is a one-year deal...I mean, it may seem like it's just a number, but it's bigger than that. It's respect, and that was a big part of the separation between me and Tampa, period, was the respect they showed to me all offseason, it just wasn't there."
The Buccaneers face the Panthers at Sept. 12 and Oct. 13.