The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released defensive lineman Gerald McCoy on Monday in a move that was not all too surprising based on how the offseason had been going between the two sides.
Now, a six-time Pro Bowler is on the free agent market, meaning that one lucky team will get to add a disruptive force to their defensive front.
While McCoy may not be as dominant as he once was, he is still a very good player who will unquestionably help whichever club with which he lands, and he could even be a piece to put a defense over the top.
One team that already has some rumored interest in McCoy is the New England Patriots, which does not come as a shock given the fact that the Patriots could certainly use some defensive help.
Here are three reasons why New England is the perfect landing spot for the 31-year-old.
3. He Would Replace Malcom Brown
An under-the-radar loss for the Patriots in free agency was defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who was drafted by New England in the first round back in 2015 and had been a very steady contributor along their defensive line ever since.
Brown ended up signing with the New Orleans Saints, leaving the Pats with a rather big hole in the middle. They did sign former New York Jets defensive tackle Mike Pennel, but Pennel is simply not Brown.
McCoy, on the other hand, is probably even better than Brown, even at this stage of his career when he is clearly on the decline.
Having a stout interior defensive line is paramount to winning games in this NFL, and McCoy would not only step in and replace Brown, but would actually be an upgrade.
2. The Patriots Desperately Need a Pass Rusher
The Patriots ranked second-to-last in the NFL with just 30 sacks this past season, and during the offseason, they lost their best pass rusher in Trey Flowers to free agency.
Now, New England did trade for Michael Bennett, but at 33 years old and in a new system, we don’t really know how Bennett is going to perform.
That’s why the Pats could really use another player who can get to the quarterback, and McCoy is that guy.
Even in a down year in 2018, McCoy still registered six sacks, and keep in mind that he is an interior defensive lineman. As a matter of fact, McCoy has totaled at least six sacks ever year since 2013, topping out at 9.5 back in the 2013 campaign.
McCoy would not only generate pressure up the middle, but his ability to take on multiple blockers would also make life easier for the Patriots’ edge rushers (like Bennett).
1. Gerald McCoy Will Get to Compete for a Title
McCoy wants to sign with a contender, and no team in football is more of a perennial contender than the Patriots.
The defensive tackle has spent his entire nine-year NFL career with the Buccaneers and has not made the playoffs once, so if he signs with New England, he will almost surely make the postseason for the first time in his 10th season and will also get the chance to challenge for a Super Bowl championship to boot.
It’s always a shame when great players like McCoy end up on bad teams for an extended period of time, but now, McCoy is fortunate enough to join a contender when he still has a good amount of football left in the tank.
So, not only would McCoy help the Patriots, but the Patriots would help him, too.