The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to cut ties with Gerald McCoy. Here are five teams that would be wise to trade for him.
Gerald McCoy has been one of the most dominant interior defensive lineman in the NFL throughout his career. Coming from Oklahoma, McCoy was drafted the same year as fellow disruptive defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh. Both players have enjoyed long illustrious careers so far. The difference is that McCoy has been a stable force for the original team that drafted him, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now it looks that team is ready to move on from McCoy.
It is not that rare to see players get released or traded this time of year. The NFL owners and coaches are all together at the owner’s meeting and discussions happen. It was around the same time last year that the Patriots traded Brandin Cooks to the Rams. This is still an active portion of the NFL calendar, not just focused on the NFL draft.
In McCoy’s case it comes down to dollars versus production. He is scheduled to make $13 million dollars this season, according to Over The Cap. That number is non-guaranteed meaning the Buccaneers could cut ties with McCoy and not impact their cap situation. For a team with the second least amount of cap space in the NFL, $13 million would go a long way.
Head coach Bruce Arians had intersting quotes that hint at McCoy’s future in Tampa Bay. So far this entire new staff has been non-committal. Here is Ian Rapoport’s take on the matter. Others, including Rick Stroud of Tampa Bay Times, shared a quote.
They’ve already cut ties with the pricey DeSean Jackson. Tampa also let Adam Humphries and Kwon Alexander go get big contracts on the open market. Veteran pass rusher Vinny Curry was let go in free agency as well. The team is preparing to open up space, it’s just hard with that $13 million dollar carrot hanging over their head.
Right now the most logical solution is that Tampa cuts McCoy and he hits the free market. However, a player of his talent could fetch some kind of return in a trade. Here are the five teams that should trade for McCoy if he is available.
5. Indianapolis Colts
There are a lot of teams out there with needs along the defensive line. None of them have as much money to spend as the Indianapolis Colts. They are looking at the most cap space in the NFL, even after over paying Devin Funchess at wide receiver.
Their current situation on the interior of their defensive line is Margus Hunt and Denico Autry. It is easy to say Gerald McCoy would be the best player on their entire defensive line. He could come right in and man the three tech position. With the Buccaneers switching to a more odd-front, McCoy’s skill set does not line up well. He’s not big enough to play the nose tackle position and while he flashes as an athlete, does not have the requisite two-gap ability to play five-technique or 3-4 defensive end.
At his best, McCoy lines up outside shoulder of the guard and shoots that gap. When he is able to do that, there are few better in the league at disrupting plays in the backfield. McCoy was a common place there during his time with the Buccaneers.
In Indianapolis he’d open up the outside rush lanes for guys like Jabaal Sheard, Tyquan Lewis and Kemeko Turay. The youth along the defensive line is impressive, but this team can win now and adding a guy like McCoy makes a lot of sense. This also would close a hole for the Colts come draft time and allow them to look at adding a talented receiver, or secondary player.