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Browns Trade Rumors: Gerald McCoy Drawing Interest After 2019 NFL Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2019

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 30, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears won 48-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns may be warming to the idea of acquiring Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, according to the Akron Beacon Journal's Steve Doerschuk

"[Browns general manager John Dorsey's] interest in McCoy is believed to be ongoing, and the Buccaneers likely still have an appetite for getting value from him for the program new pilot Bruce Arians is building," Doerschuk wrote.

The Athletic's Michael Lombardi reported April 3 the Buccaneers were "shopping [McCoy] hard" but failing to find a market for his services.

Head coach Bruce Arians took a diplomatic tone when discussing the defensive tackle's future in Tampa, per the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud:

"If he comes back, if he doesn't come back, it's all business. It's not much for me to speak on. He has to do what's best for him and his family. [Bucs general manager] Mr. [Jason] Licht has to do what's best for the Buccaneers. So that's where that comes in line. I want him here. Obviously, everybody wants him here. Who wouldn't want him here?"

From the Buccaneers' perspective, now is the time to trade McCoy.

The 31-year-old is coming off a somewhat disappointing 2018 season. He had 28 combined tackles and six sacks, and he failed to make the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2011. His trade value should remain relatively high right now, but that may not be the case a year from now if Tampa Bay kept him through the regular season.

Meanwhile, Dorsey and Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens might be thinking a change of scenery would get McCoy back to his best.

By adding Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson to a defensive line that already included Myles Garrett, Cleveland has built an imposing defensive front. Throw McCoy into the mix, and the unit would be a nightmare for offensive lines.

Doerschuk also noted the Browns make sense as a trade partner since they could send a running back to the Buccaneers. Duke Johnson Jr. would arguably be an upgrade over Peyton Barber, whose 871 yards paced Tampa Bay last year. 

McCoy's $13 million salary-cap hit is sizable in 2019, and he's owed another $20.4 million between 2020 and 2021, per Over the Cap. None of the money remaining on his deal is guaranteed, though.

Should McCoy's performance continue trending downward, the Browns—or another team—could release him in the offseason without incurring any dead money.

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