The New England Patriots suddenly have become one of the more active teams on the open market in terms of signing veteran free agents, and the reigning Super Bowl champions might not be done just yet.
Gerald McCoy is in line for a new home after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released the star defensive tackle Monday. McCoy was set to earn $13 million in the 2019 season, but interested teams likely will be able to acquire his services for a lower rate.
During an appearance Tuesday on “Up To The Minute,” NFL Network analyst Steve Wyche rattled off three potential landing spots for McCoy, who turned 31 in late February. The Patriots, who could benefit from a little defensive line help, cracked the list.
“There’s been rumors out there for a while that even when the Buccaneers were trying to trade McCoy that the Browns had interest, but at that number, they’ve already got so much money invested at defensive line and that was too steep,” Wyche said. “But now that they might be able to get him at a reduced price, think about that: Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon, Sheldon Richardson, Larry Ogunjobi and now possibly, Gerald McCoy. That would be a ridiculous front up in Cleveland. They’ve already got a stacked team, but they’re gonna have some competition. You know, the Patriots are one of the teams we’ve heard that could possibly be in on McCoy and maybe at this point in his career with all the losing he wants to go to a team that can get him to the Super Bowl.
“Another team to look out for is the Los Angeles Chargers. You drafted Jerry Tillery to play alongside Brandon Mebane at the defensive interior. They really shuffle around their defensive tackles in a lot of their pass-rush situations. Gerald McCoy would be stalwart and again: (Joey) Bosa, Tillery, McCoy, Melvin Ingram. Patrick Mahomes could still be the MVP, but facing that front four, oh my goodness, there’s a lot of stuff that could happen. Gerald McCoy, again, is gonna be a hot target. We’ll see how quickly this gets done, but there will be competition for his services.”
Tampa Bay wasted little time finding McCoy’s replacement, as it signed Ndamukong Suh to a one-year deal Tuesday, per multiple reports. McCoy now is undoubtedly the best available defensive line option on the open market, and as Wyche noted, there will be no shortage of interested teams.