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Gerald McCoy visits Carolina Panthers today, decision early as Friday

The former Bucs defensive tackle also is considering the Browns and Ravens
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) talks with defensive line coach Brentson Buckner during a game against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 21. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) talks with defensive line coach Brentson Buckner during a game against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 21. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Published May 30, 2019

TAMPA — Gerald McCoy’s career with the Bucs is over but he could remain in the NFC South.

McCoy completed a two-day meeting with the Baltimore Ravens Wednesday and will visit the Carolina Panthers beginning tonight with a decision expected as early as Friday.

McCoy, 31, is likely to choose between three teams — the Browns, Ravens and Panthers.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is very familiar with McCoy’s work, having competed against him in the same division for nine seasons. Carolina has reached the playoffs four of the past six years under Rivera. They went 7-9 last season but in 2015 were NFC champions and lost in the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos. Rivera is expected to direct the defense in 2019.

“I think a guy with his ability could come in and help most certainly,” Rivera told reporters recently.

The Browns have the most salary cap space ($32.7-million), followed by the Ravens ($13.7-million) and Panthers ($9.8-million), according to Overthecap.com. McCoy has received interest from 10 teams with as offers that have been as high as $11-million per year.

But McCoy has said he’s driven first by the opportunity to win a Super Bowl.

McCoy wrapped up what was termed "a very good visit,'' with the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday and Wednesday. In fact, he even attended the retirement announcement of former Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

The Ravens have a young quarterback in Lamar Jackson, who helped lead them to a 10-6 record and division title in the AFC North last season.

The Browns may have the best collection of defensive line talent along with quarterback Baker Mayfield and receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.

Ironically, the Bucs do not play Carolina at Raymond James Stadium next season. That game was moved to London Oct. 13 in Totenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tampa Bay opens the regular season by hosting the 49ers then travels to Carolina for a Thursday night football game four days later.





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