Making a blockbuster trade to acquire Odell Beckham Jr., the Cleveland Browns have been one of the most prominent teams of the ongoing NFL offseason.
It appears Cleveland general manager John Dorsey may not be done making moves just yet.
On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers parted ways with one of the cornerstones of their defense, releasing defensive tackle Gerald McCoy after nine seasons with the team. Unsurprisingly, the 6-time Pro Bowl selection is expected to command a sizable market as he chooses his new team -- one that according to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times will include the Browns.
"There will be plenty of teams wanting to sign him," wrote Stroud, who broke the news of McCoy's release. "The Patriots, Saints, Browns and Chargers, to name a few. He’s made well more than $100 million. It won’t mean a thing if he ain’t got that ring."
That Cleveland is now included in the same company as contenders like the Patriots, Saints and Chargers speaks to the team's attention-grabbing offseason. In addition to the Beckham deal, the Browns have further enhanced their offense by signing running back Kareem Hunt and bolstered their defense with the acquisitions of pass-rusher Olivier Vernon, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and rookie cornerback Greedy Williams.
Furthermore, the development of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield should only elevate Cleveland after the 2018 No. 1 pick threw for an NFL rookie record 27 touchdowns in his rookie year. Mayfield, like McCoy, spent his college career at Oklahoma, although their respective stints in Norman didn't overlap.
While the Browns signed Richardson to a 3-year, $39 million contract earlier this offseason with the intent of pairing him next to Larry Ogunjobi, the opportunity to add a player of McCoy's caliber could prove too enticing for Dorsey to pass up.
The No. 3 pick of the 2010 draft, McCoy has spent the entirety of his NFL career in Tampa Bay. In addition to his six consecutive Pro Bowl appearances (2012-17), the 31-year-old has been named a first-team All-Pro three times (2012-14), as well as second-team All-Pro in 2016.
Last season, McCoy appeared in 14 games, totaling 28 tackles, 6 of which came for a loss, 6 sacks and 21 quarterback hits. His 54.5 career sacks ranks fourth in the NFL among active defensive tackles.