Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is getting ready to announce his next team, and he’s reportedly down to three potential suitors.
Though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers deemed his cap hit too hefty at $13 million and seemingly no teams were willing to trade a draft pick for the veteran defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy has found no shortage of teams interested in signing him as a free agent.
McCoy has been one of the best defensive tackles of the past decade and would be an immediate difference-maker for any team. According to a report from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, McCoy will make his final decision by Monday or Tuesday after his agent engages in final discussions over the weekend.
Per Cabot, the three teams in the running for McCoy’s services are the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, and Cleveland Browns. Several other contenders have been mentioned as interested suitors in the Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, and New Orleans Saints, but it’s no surprise to see who the final teams are.
The Panthers and Ravens badly need some pass rushing help, and Carolina look like a real darkhorse to snag their former rival. McCoy’s final free agent visit came on Friday when he took a trip to the Panthers headquarters.
Meanwhile, the Browns are McCoy’s most intriguing suitor, given that they’ve been linked to the 31-year-old for months. Though the Browns have already acquired Sheldon Richardson as Larry Ogunjobi’s defensive tackle partner and traded for Olivier Vernon earlier in the offseason, Cleveland are dead set on putting all the chips on the table this season. With Baker Mayfield shining and Odell Beckham Jr. on the squad, they have every reason to shoot for the stratosphere in 2019.
Signing McCoy could be the final piece to the puzzle, giving Cleveland an unstoppable defensive line that also includes Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett.
However, the Ravens will make things difficult for their AFC North rivals after squeaking into the playoffs last year. Despite question marks up front and at wide receiver after a ho-hum offseason, Baltimore have promising players, namely second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson. A huge year from McCoy could go a long way in helping the Ravens slip into the postseason again.