Trevor DeGroot, Twitter: @TrevorDeGrootBy Trevor DeGroot

TAMPA,FL — On Saturday the Buccaneers locked up their biggest defensive star for the long-term future. Gerald McCoy agreed to a seven-year contract extension remaining in Tampa Bay through the 2021 season.

Sources say the deal is worth $95.2 million, that can reach a total of $98 million, making McCoy the highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL. He will receive $51.5 million guaranteed, which would be the most given to a defensive tackle in NFL history.

“From the moment Lovie and I arrived here, we knew it was vital for us to keep Gerald in Tampa Bay long term as one of the cornerstones of our franchise,” said Buccaneers GM Jason Licht in a statement. “With the backing of the Glazer family, we were able to accomplish that. On the field, Gerald is one of the best players in the National Football League, who has been extremely productive and will be for years to come. We are happy to reward someone that has a rare work ethic, which not only makes him an elite player, but serves as an example for our entire team. His commitment, character and leadership are attributes that make him a truly special person, who will play a pivotal role in our future success.”

At age 26, the 3rd overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft has already accomplished numerous individual accomplishments in the 56 games he’s played. McCoy is a two-time Pro Bowler, and earned a first-team All-Pro selection in 2013 to compliment his 20.5 sacks and 136 combined tackles.

The Buccaneers will hold a press conference with Gerald McCoy, Jason Licht, and head coach Lovie Smith Monday, scheduled for 4:00 p.m.

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