Free-agent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is itching to get back in the NFL but isn't generating much interest after missing the 2020 season with a quad injury.
"I understand that I've been injured, and I honestly believe the lack of interest in me being on a team right now is because of my injury," McCoy told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. "I haven't played in a year, and I'm 33 years old. But man, when I still tell you I can play this game at a high level, I know I can.
"I just need that one team. And it will happen. I'm not saying I'm desperate. I just need that one team that will make that decision, and I believe they'll get more than they bargained for, and I'm ready to show that."
McCoy last played for the Carolina Panthers in 2019, registering 37 tackles and five sacks. The lineman signed a three-year contract worth over $18 million with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, but the team released him before the season after he suffered the quad injury in training camp.
The Oklahoma product earned six consecutive Pro Bowl selections with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012-17 when he was one of the top players in the league at his position.
"For me, I just love this game so much, it's still fun to me," McCoy said. "I love competing. I just know what my mindset was going into last season, and I don't want an injury or what the NFL deems 'age' to be a derailment and finish like that.
"I know I can still be an asset to a team, whether it's sparingly, as a starter, in the locker room, whatever it is. In training camp, a mentor to the young kids. I just know I have so much more to give this game, even if for a short period of time."
McCoy ranks third in Buccaneers history with 54.5 career sacks, behind only Hall of Famer Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice.