The New England Patriots made a transaction on the defensive line when they re-signed Danny Shelton on Monday afternoon. However, the team might not be done adding at the position, and they may have an interest in another defensive tackle who has just become a free agent.
That player is Gerald McCoy. He and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mutually parted ways on Monday afternoon. It was widely assumed that the Bucs wouldn't keep McCoy around given his $13 million cap hit and the lack of guarantees in his remaining contract. Now, that has come to fruition, and McCoy will be looking for a new team.
According to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times, the Patriots "may have an interest" in adding McCoy to the team.
But McCoy has already made well over $100-million. At this point in his career, he figured if he’s going to sacrifice salary, it will be to win a championship with a perennial playoff contender like the New England Patriots, who may have an interest in signing the six-time Pro Bowler and reuniting him with former Bucs defensive end Michael Bennett.
If McCoy does want to join a potential contender, the Patriots would make sense. After all, they have made it to the last three Super Bowls, and McCoy could easily find a role on that defensive line. In all likelihood, McCoy would earn a starting job next to either Lawrence Guy or Mike Pennell while the other remaining defensive tackles (Shelton, Byron Cowart, David Parry, Adam Butler among others) would compete for one or two spots on the depth chart.
Still, adding McCoy wouldn't necessarily be easy for the Patriots. They only have about $3.67 million in cap space (per @PatsCap), so if McCoy's demands are higher than that, they would either have to open up space or bow out of the sweepstakes. And they will certainly face competition for his services, so that could drive up McCoy's asking price.
McCoy, 31, had 28 tackles and 6.0 sacks in 14 games last year. He has recorded at least 5.0 sacks in each of the last seven seasons and has 54.5 career sacks, a great number for an interior defensive lineman.
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