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Time to extend Gerald McCoy

It quickly has become obvious that coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht are very deliberate in their actions.

They felt they needed a veteran quarterback, so they went out and signed Josh McCown. They knew they needed help at wide receiver, so they drafted Mike Evans.

Now that the draft is over and free agency is virtually done, the Bucs are moving onto something else. They previously have said that signing defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a contract extension is a priority. Now, they’re following through on that.

The Bucs have opened negotiations with McCoy’s agent, according to Rick Stroud. I wouldn’t be surprised if a new deal gets done by the start of training camp.

It’s not that difficult to figure out what McCoy should be paid. He has emerged as one of the league’s best defensive tackles and that means he should earn somewhere around $13 million a season.

That’s a steep price, but McCoy is Tampa Bay’s best player. The Bucs need to be deliberate and lock him up for the long term.