Time to wrap up Gerald McCoy

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been busy overhauling their roster in recent weeks. But it might be time to take care of someone already on the roster.

That’s defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. At some point this offseason, the Bucs would be wise to lock McCoy up with a long-term contract extension. After an injury-filled first two seasons, McCoy has established himself as one of the league’s best defensive tackles with his performance the last two seasons.

Coach Lovie Smith already has identified McCoy as a player the Bucs want to build around, so it only makes sense to do a long-term deal. It won’t be cheap. The going rate for the top defensive tackles is above $12 million per season.

Thanks largely to an escalator he triggered, McCoy already is set to make $12.7 million this season. That’s a fair salary, but the Bucs need to lock up McCoy beyond this year.

McCoy is only starting to hit his prime and he should be better than ever in Smith’s defense. It’s time to go ahead and make sure McCoy sticks around for at least the next four or five years.