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Gerald McCoy says Warren Sapp ‘was’ like family before comments – Carolina Panthers Blog

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gerald McCoy insists he’s over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers giving his No. 93 to Ndamukong Suh a week after he signed with the Carolina Panthers, but his relationship with Hall of Famer Warren Sapp regarding comments about the issue might need some repair.

“Warren Sapp was looked at as my family,” McCoy said on Tuesday in preparation of Thursday night’s game against his former team at Bank of America Stadium. “I considered him my family. He’d been at my house, met all my family, Facetimed the little ones.

“So, yeah, I considered him my family. He was my mentor at first, and then became my family.”

McCoy used the past tense when describing his relationship with Sapp, a seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle while with Tampa Bay from 1995-2003.

Asked if Sapp’s comments hurt, McCoy shrugged his shoulders.

He did the same thing when asked if he and Sapp had cleared the air.

Sapp blasted McCoy last month after the six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle indicated the Bucs should have taken his number out of circulation the way they had with Lee Roy Selmon, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and Ronde Barber.

His reasoning? McCoy never led the Bucs to the playoffs or won a Super Bowl, as Sapp did at the end of the 2002 season.

“He didn’t have no chips in his game,” Sapp told PewterReport.com in August. “No Defensive Player of the Year — that’s what Brooks and that’s what Lee Roy Selmon did. Lynch got his name in two damn Ring of Honors. What am I missing here, Gerald? You’re talking about something silly. Come on, man — stop. If you’re mad, you’re mad, but don’t put it on the organization that the organization did it. Every NFL team has to move on.

“He’s a damn good player. A damn good player. But not even close [to a legend]. You damn sure don’t get legendary status or tell somebody to put your jersey up if you don’t take ’em to playoff games [laughs] … Not one playoff game. Not even a wild card. I went to nine. We went 5-4.”

When asked what his legacy at Tampa Bay was going to be, McCoy said, “I don’t know. Ask Warren Sapp. … It’s a great question.”

As far as facing the Bucs for the first time since signing a one-year deal at Carolina worth $8 million — with a chance to reach $10.25 million with incentives — McCoy insisted it was just another game.

He also said he wished the game was in Tampa Bay so fans could boo him. He won’t get that opportunity because the second meeting between these teams in October is being played in London.

As for Suh wearing No. 93, McCoy seems fine with that.

“At first, it bothered me,” he said. “I can admit that. The more I think about it, I’m moving on. I still wear my own number [with Carolina].”

And when he retires, McCoy said, he’ll retire with No. 93 as a member of the Bucs.

“I’m gonna retire a Buc,” McCoy said. “What do they do? One-day contracts? I’m gonna retire a Buc. I’ve already talked to the owners. We’ve already established that.”

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Cowboys’ Jason Witten wants to play in ’20, open to other teams

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FRISCO, Texas — Jason Witten wants to play another season but acknowledged it might have to be with a franchise other than the Dallas Cowboys.

“I think I have to be,” Witten said when asked if he’s open to playing elsewhere. “Obviously I’d love to finish it out here, but some of those things are not in your control.”

Witten said he met with Mike McCarthy not long after McCarthy was named head coach. He has had conversations with owner and general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones.

While Witten said the talks with McCarthy and Jones were great, he added, “We didn’t get into the weeds of my role and what that would look like.”

He said he will have more discussions after next week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis but before free agency begins on March 18.

Witten caught 63 passes for 529 yards and four touchdowns in his return from a one-year hiatus as an analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. He has played 16 seasons for the Cowboys, a franchise record.

“I still feel like I have something to give,” Witten said. “I’ve obviously been on the other side of that in the decision to retire. Yeah, I think coaching is in the future, but I want to play while I can. We’ll see where that takes place. Of course I want it to be with the Dallas Cowboys and I’ll always be a Dallas Cowboy, but I also understand that with all the changes that I might have to go somewhere else.”

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Source — Ex-Panthers TE Greg Olsen joining Seahawks on 1-year deal

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Former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has agreed to terms on a deal with the Seattle Seahawks, the team announced Tuesday.

Terms weren’t released, but a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter the deal is for one year and worth $7 million, with $5.5 million in guaranteed money.

Olsen visited with Buffalo, Seattle and Washington, and he felt most comfortable with the Seahawks, the source said.

Tight end was an area of need for the Seahawks with Will Dissly coming off a ruptured Achilles, his second major injury in as many NFL seasons. Veteran Ed Dickson is a candidate to be released after missing most of his two seasons with Seattle due to injuries. Luke Willson, whom Seattle re-signed after trading Nick Vannett last year, is an unrestricted free agent. Jacob Hollister is a restricted free agent.

Because Olsen was released by Carolina, his addition won’t cost the Seahawks a compensatory pick.

Olsen became a free agent after he and the Panthers mutually agreed to part ways after nine seasons. A three-time Pro Bowl selection who has played 13 NFL seasons, he said he was still interested in playing in the NFL.

Olsen’s cap number for the 2020 season was to be $11,675,000 after he ruled out an extension to lower that number.

After dabbling in broadcasting during some time off, Olsen returned to the field in 2019 to prove that he could still be among the top tight ends in the league. From 2014 to 2016, he became the first tight end in NFL history to have 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons.

Olsen, the 31st pick by the Bears in 2007, had 52 catches for 597 yards and two touchdowns this past season. He has 718 career catches for 8,444 yards and 59 touchdowns.

Olsen, who turns 35 on March 11, holds the Panthers’ franchise record for single-season receiving yards (1,104 in 2015) and receptions (84 in 2014) by a tight end.

ESPN’s David Newton and Brady Henderson contributed to this report.

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Ex-Panthers TE Greg Olsen going to Seahawks

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Former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is signing a one-year, $7 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter Tuesday.

The contract includes $5.5 million in guaranteed money.

Olsen visited with Buffalo, Seattle and Washington but felt most comfortable with the Seahawks, the source said.

Olsen became a free agent after he and the Panthers mutually agreed to part ways after nine seasons. A three-time Pro Bowl selection who has played 13 NFL seasons, he said he was still interested in playing in the NFL.

Olsen’s cap number for the 2020 season was to be $11,675,000 after he ruled out an extension to lower that number.

After dabbling in broadcasting during time off, Olsen returned to the field in 2019 to prove he still could be among the top tight ends in the league. From 2014-16, he became the first tight end in NFL history to have 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons.

Olsen, the 31st pick by the Bears in 2007, had 52 catches for 597 yards and two touchdowns this past season. He has 718 career catches for 8,444 yards and 59 touchdowns in his career.

Olsen, who turns 35 on March 11, holds the Panthers franchise record for most receiving yards (1,104 in ’15) and receptions (84 in 2014) in a season by a tight end.

ESPN’s David Newton contributed to this report.

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