Gerald McCoy Rumors: Browns, Panthers, Ravens 'In Limbo' Amid Contract Talks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 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

Free-agent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been actively negotiating with the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens, and all three organizations remain "in limbo" while he makes his decision, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

As we await word on free agent DT Gerald McCoy, he's negotiating with all three teams and has not made a selection yet. So, the #Browns, #Ravens, and #Panthers are in limbo. https://t.co/vdvSI6VgUV

McCoy, 31, was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.

McCoy had been set to make $13 million in 2019 and had three years left on his deal. After the Bucs reportedly were unable to find a trade partner, they released him and signed Ndamukong Suh for $9.2 million.

Head coach Bruce Arians said Friday during an appearance on ESPN that McCoy simply didn't "fit" in Tampa Bay any longer (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk):

"It just wasn't a fit. Whether it was financial, whatever, on the field, you know, it just didn't fit. I've been through this a number of times with guys and great players and it just comes a time when they have to separate the organization. You go back to Franco Harris not being a Steeler. This has happened for a long, long time."

McCoy was solid in the 2018 season, registering 28 tackles and six sacks in 13 games. That, combined with the dominance he showed in his prime, has made him an intriguing free agent.

In Cleveland, he'd be the final piece in what could be a dominant defensive line, pairing with Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson. That foursome would be expected to wreak havoc for a Browns team with legitimate playoff aspirations for the first time in years.

The Panthers, meanwhile, already have Kawann Short and Dontari Poe in the middle and Bruce Irvin on the edge, though McCoy would likely pair with Short and Poe in the team's new 3-4 scheme. 

Joe Person @josephperson

Ron Rivera says he thinks Panthers have a very good chance w/ Gerald McCoy...But concedes the other two teams involved would probably say the same thing. https://t.co/ILo9PwXLEK

And in Baltimore, McCoy would push for playing time alongside nose tackle Brandon Williams on the interior of the defensive line. 

All three teams would make sense for McCoy. And all three remain in limbo as he makes his decision.