TAMPA — It’s too soon to say that the Cleveland Browns are a front-runner in the sweepstakes for Gerald McCoy, since the former Bucs defensive tackle declined to pull the trigger on an offer from the team after concluding a two day visit Friday.
But McCoy was impressed with the team that Browns general manager John Dorsey has built in Cleveland.
McCoy flew to Orlando to spend Memorial Day weekend with his family and will honor a commitment to visit the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday. It’s possible he will take one more visit to another AFC team next week. The Cincinnati Bengals reportedly have an interest. Former Bucs defensive coordinator Mark Duffner is an assistant with the Bengals.
The Ravens had the NFL’s top-ranked defense last season and their defensive line coach is Joe Cullen, who had the same job with the Bucs in 2013.
Ten teams have expressed and interest in McCoy with offers as high as $11-million per year. But McCoy would be willing to sign a one-year prove it deal with a team on the rise like the Browns. On the other hand, the Ravens won the AFC North with a 10-6 record last season and McCoy has said he wants to participate in the playoffs.
McCoy also likes the depth of the Browns defensive line which includes Pro Bowl players Sheldon Richardson, Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon. McCoy could make a decision sometime next week.
The Browns are the only team that has gone longer without a playoff appearance than the Bucs. They last appeared in the post-season in 2002. The Bucs haven’t made the playoffs since 2007.
But the Browns have a promising young quarterback in Baker Mayfield and Dorsey added former first-round picks such as Richardson, Odell Beckham, Jr, and Kareem Hunt.