The Browns may not be the best fit for Gerald McCoy, but there’s no way they will be outbid for the Pro Bowl defensive tackle.
Gerald McCoy’s brief free agency tour has ended after visiting three teams. Barring a last-minute surprise, the former Buccaneers star will sign with the Browns, Ravens or Panthers. If it comes down to a financial decision, McCoy will be headed to Cleveland.
The Browns may not be the team that best fits McCoy’s talents on the field, but they have a big advantage over both Baltimore and Carolina when it comes to cap space. General manager John Dorsey and his front office have $32.6 million in cap space available at the moment. That’s a massive advantage over the Ravens, who stand at $13.4 million, and the Panthers, who have just $8.5 million left under the salary cap.
It’s worth mentioning that McCoy was ticketed to make $13 million this year before Tampa Bay decided to cut him loose. There’s no guarantee he’s going to recoup all of that money in free agency. Clearly, McCoy would like to get paid, but it’s also possible he’ll take a one-year deal in an attempt to get back on the free agent market next offseason.
It’s unclear how much of their remaining cap space any of the three teams still in contention to acquire McCoy are willing to offer him. The Browns clearly aren’t going to offer him all of the $32 million and change they have remaining, but it might make sense for them to offer McCoy a lucrative one-year contract just to get him into the fold. At this late stage of free agency it’s highly unlikely that Cleveland, or anyone else, can find another big-ticket free agent to spend their space on.
The bottom line s that the Browns hold a major advantage in the race to sign McCoy. If they do miss out on the talented defensive lineman, it almost certainly means they chose not to exercise their financial advantage. If they want to blow the competition away with their cap space, they certainly can.