New England Patriots: Could the team add Gerald McCoy?

Ever since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Gerald McCoy with the third-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, he has remained a mainstay in their defensive front. That era ended a few days ago when the Buccaneers decided to cut McCoy instead of paying him $13 million. Entering his tenth season, McCoy isn’t the All-Pro that he used to be, but still is an efficient veteran who could provide experience and productivity at a good deal. With defensive tackle being a need for New England, they would be wise to engage in talks with McCoy.

After spending his entire career in the challenging NFC South on the not-so-great Buccaneers, McCoy expressed his interest in signing with a contender. Not surprisingly, multiple teams have expressed interest in the veteran, including the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, and New England Patriots. All of these teams are loading up for a championship run and could use a talented interior lineman. If New England was able to land McCoy, he would certainly have to take a veteran’s pay-cut in an attempt to win a championship.

The New England Patriots currently have just under $6 million in cap room, and in addition, they still have to sign a few draft picks. A deal that could work for both sides would be a playing time, incentive-laden deal that doesn’t count much against the cap. If McCoy isn’t willing to budge on landing a profitable deal, it is more likely that he ends up as a member of the Colts or the Browns, who both have room to splurge on the former All-Pro. If McCoy is lured to Foxboro, it won’t be by the money.

One glaring factor that could land McCoy in a Pats uniform is coach Bill Belichick. Belichick loves intelligent players with a high motor, and McCoy fits the build. Ever since high school, McCoy has been praised as an incredibly gifted athlete. It should be mentioned that McCoy won the first two of his three All-Pro awards under Schiano’s coaching. McCoy could prove his drive and determination to win a ring by taking a cheaper deal to sign with the reigning champs.

Throughout his career, McCoy has only played a full season twice. No matter what team he signs with, it would be wise for them to severely limit his snaps until the postseason comes around, assuming the contender that he chooses to play for earns a postseason berth. McCoy has dealt with multiple injuries, including ankle and knee problems that significantly affect his burst as a defensive tackle. The former third-overall pick can still contribute but has lost a step over the past few years.

If McCoy did end up in New England, he would join a defensive tackle group consisting of veterans Lawrence Guy and Mike Pennel. Still, McCoy’s seasoned knowledge would be a welcome addition in the focused New England locker room. With multiple teams interested in the defensive tackle, McCoy has to decide which one gives him the best chance to win a championship.

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