The question seems to be more about when and how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will move on from Gerald McCoy, not if. For the Cleveland Browns, their question is whether they’ve done enough to seize the moment (2019 NFL Season) or not.
There’s an answer to both questions and it’s as simple as trading Gerald McCoy to the Cleveland Browns, and there’s only one thing standing between the two sides and making a move which makes too much sense to not happen: Stubbornness.
First, let’s look at why this works for the Cleveland Browns.
This team was once on a five-year plan which was initiated in January of 2016. Three seasons later, the plan has been scrapped and switched for a one-year plan. The acceleration of the plan came for many reasons, but one of the main catalysts for the push the team is making this off-season is both the rise of Baker Mayfield and the fall of everyone else in the AFC North.
The Cincinnati Bengals look more like the Browns of recent memory than anyone else. The Baltimore Ravens were in the playoffs, but weren’t what most would call a ‘playoff team’ in 2018. With their mostly one-dimensional offense and less than impressive defense heading into 2019, they’re certainly vulnerable to a drop this year.
In Pittsburgh, the Steelers should have had a worse record than they ended with in 2018 as it is, and there’s no telling just how this team is going to come out after all of the drama they’ve been through in the last 48 months.
Now is the time. Not next year, or the year after. The window is most open right now, and there’s no reason to bank on the window being more open next year or in 2021 if you’re the Cleveland Browns.
Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., Myles Garrett....Gerald McCoy.
The cost of adding McCoy is more money than anyone wants to pay. This much is obvious considering the Buccaneers haven’t been able to move him at his current salary. But Cleveland can afford it, at least for one season. And the beautiful part of adding McCoy under his current contract is, if it doesn’t work out or if he won’t take a pay cut to stay with the team in 2020, then the team can move him with no dead money.
Bottom line, he adds to the push the Browns have already made in 2019 and his price tag doesn’t hinder anything they likely have planned moving forward - at least in this season, which is where they should be thinking considering McCoy.
Now, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you’ve listened to any of the episodes where James Yarcho and I have discussed Gerald McCoy on the Locked On Bucs Podcast, then you know where I stand on this.