Should the Cleveland Browns make adding Gerald McCoy a priority?
The Cleveland Browns have been connected to adding Gerald McCoy this offseason, but should it become a priority for the organization.
The Cleveland Browns have appeared to be all-in on winning in 2019, so they have not been afraid to make some big additions to their roster this offseason. And even with the NFL Draft over and most of the roster settled, the Browns may not be done making big moves to bolster their roster.
Just over a week ago, the Browns and general manager John Dorsey were reported to be interested in Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, according to Steve Doerschuck of the Canton Repository.
The Bucs are reportedly interested in moving McCoy before the start of the season, and it has created a rift between the veteran defensive tackle and the organization. And according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the situation may come to a head as soon as this week.
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McCoy has been one of the most productive and dominant interior defensive linemen for several seasons. But with the Buccaneers tight on cap space and McCoy making $13 million this season as a 31-year-old, he is a prime candidate to be a cap casualty.
Last season, McCoy made 28 total tackles, six tackles for loss, six sacks, and 21 quarterback hits in 14 games last season. It was a down year for McCoy, but it was still a solid season. And for the Browns, he would provide much-needed help on the defensive line.
The Browns may have added Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson to the defensive line this offseason, but they are still thin behind the starting unit. Because the Browns will be playing an aggressive defense under defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, they are going to need their defensive line to be disruptive. Without a disruptive front, the Browns defense would be vulnerable to big plays if Wilks is frequently blitzing.
But in order to have a disruptive defensive front, there needs to be a good rotation of players to take some snaps off the starters. With the starters getting rest throughout a game, they will be more productive towards the end of the game.
McCoy may be an expensive role player at his $13 million price tag, but the Browns still have cap space to play around with. And if they could add a player the caliber of McCoy to their defensive line, it would take a lot of pressure off the other defensive linemen.
Cleveland could also cut or trade McCoy at any point after acquiring him while taking no dead cap. So if the team is for some reason tight on cash or McCoy is not performing, there is no risk moving on from the veteran.
But with how motivated McCoy appears to be after the criticism he has taken from the Tampa Bay organization, there should be no concern about McCoy not performing. And because he would be playing on a stacked defensive line, he would have more one-on-one opportunities to make plays in the backfield.
With the lack of defensive line depth, adding McCoy would help take the Browns defense to another level. A strong defensive line not only helps getting to the quarterback, but it also takes pressure off the linebackers and secondary, creating more opportunities for the defense to make plays.
So even though McCoy is on the back-end of his prime and is still being paid top defensive linemen money, adding him should be a priority for the Browns front office this offseason. If they can pull off adding the defensive tackle, the expectations for the 2019 would end up being higher than they already are.