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Monday May 26th, 2014

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has made the Pro Bowl twice in his four seasons. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are starting contract negotiations with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, hoping to sign him to a new deal before he hits free agency next year, reports Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

McCoy is set to make $10.295 million in base salary next season, the final year of his five-year rookie deal, which was worth a total of $50 million.

According to the report, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht initiated contact with McCoy's representatives recently, but there is no timetable to get a deal done.

Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith said that signing McCoy to a new deal is a priority for the team, which has missed the playoffs in each of the past six seasons.

McCoy had 50 total tackles and 9.5 sacks last season, earning first-team AP All-Pro honors.

McCoy was third overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft and has 18 career sacks in his four seasons. KING: On Holidays, Heroes and A Patriot Named Brady

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