Gerald McCoy

NFC East Rumors: Rivera, Sanders, Cowboys

Ron Rivera announced last week he is battling lymph node cancer. The new Washington HC will attempt to coach the team through his treatment process, though Jack Del Rio is in place as the emergency fill-in. Rivera will undergo a mixture of chemotherapy and proton therapy, and John Keim of ESPN.com notes the veteran coach’s treatment schedule will feature five per week over a seven-week period. Upon hiring Del Rio, Rivera prioritized having someone with head coaching experience on his staff — which he did not have in Carolina. Del Rio served as an acting head coach for part of the 2013 season, leading the Broncos while John Fox recovered from heart surgery.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Gerald McCoy‘s Cowboys tenure may not be over. Despite the organization taking advantage of the injury protection it included in the Pro Bowl defensive tackle’s contract, and releasing him months after he signed the three-year deal, McCoy would like to play for the Cowboys in 2021, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The 10-year veteran indicated he will help the younger defensive linemen still on this year’s Cowboys roster, Ed Werder of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter). McCoy underwent successful quadriceps surgery last week, per Watkins.
  • A key component in the fantasy drafts taking place worldwide this week, Miles Sanders is currently not practicing with the Eagles. And the team has been vague as to why. Philadelphia’s starting running back is dealing with a “lower-body injury,” according to the team. However, the second-year back is expected to be ready to play by Week 1, Tim McManus of ESPN.com notes. Having lost Jordan Howard in free agency and seeing the Seahawks sign one of their UFA targets, Carlos Hyde, the Eagles are set to rely on Sanders more than they did last season. The Eagles were also interested in Devonta Freeman, and while the ex-Falcons Pro Bowler remains available, the team is going with Boston Scott and Corey Clement as its backup backs at this point.
  • Graham Gano‘s Giants deal is worth up to $2.5MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Giants guaranteed their new kicker $1MM. This is more money than the team gave Chandler Catanzaro, whose Giants stay lasted barely three weeks. Gano has 10 years’ experience, though he missed all of last season with a knee injury.

Cowboys Release Gerald McCoy

It does not appear Gerald McCoy‘s three-year Cowboys contract will make it into Year 1. Following the veteran defensive tackle’s quadriceps injury, the Cowboys are releasing him, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

An injury waiver exists within McCoy’s deal, and Schefter adds the Cowboys are using this mechanism to release McCoy (Twitter link). While a standard release would have cost Dallas $7MM, the franchise will move off this contract and pay out just $3MM.

The former top-five pick was due $9MM in guarantees on the three-year, $18MM pact he signed in March. The Cowboys, however, are off the hook for McCoy’s $2.5MM 2020 base salary and $750K roster bonus, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The team inserted this waiver into McCoy’s contract after determining he had a pre-existing quadriceps condition, Gehlken adds (via Twitter).

McCoy is not expected to play this season. He suffered a torn quad earlier this week. The Cowboys have been busy on their defensive line this offseason, adding Dontari Poe, Aldon Smith and Everson Griffen. But McCoy was slated to be a key player for the Cowboys this season. The team has already moved on, with the release showing up on the league’s transaction wire.

The Buccaneers released McCoy last summer, and the six-time Pro Bowler found his way to the Panthers. McCoy played in 16 games last season, registering five sacks to give him 59.5 for his career. His best hope of adding to this total will be a return to health in advance of his age-33 season in 2021.

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Cowboys’ Gerald McCoy Done For Year

A torn quadriceps muscle will rule out Cowboys defensive tackle Gerald McCoy for the year, per an announcement from the team. The injury was initially feared to be an ACL tear, but the end result is the same.

[RELATED: Prescott Expects To Remain With Cowboys Long-Term]

The Cowboys inked McCoy to a three-year, ~$20MM deal in March. Even though it was a lot less than McCoy’s massive Bucs deal, it was still a significant layout for Dallas. For the 32-year-old, it was an opportunity to win in the twilight of his career.

McCoy hooked on with the Panthers last year after spending his previous nine pro seasons with the Buccaneers. He started in every game for Carolina and was still effective on the interior – he finished out with five sacks, bringing his career total to 59.5.

McCoy was set to join forces with DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford on Dallas’ D-Line, helping to fill the void left by the departures of Robert Quinn and Maliek Collins. Now, he’ll have to wait until next year to make his Dallas debut.

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Cowboys To Sign Gerald McCoy

The Cowboys have agreed to terms with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, a source tells ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). The pact, which is still pending a physical, is slated to be a three-year contract. 

Once finalized, it’ll be a three-deal deal worth roughly $20MM, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. His average annual value should land north of $6MM, Garafolo adds, so it sounds like the base value of the deal will be no less than $18MM. That’s a lot less than McCoy earned on his massive deal with the Bucs, but still a solid payday for a vet who is eager to win on the backend of his career.

McCoy hooked on with the Panthers last year after spending his previous nine pro seasons with the Buccaneers. He started in every game for Carolina and was still effective on the interior – he finished out with five sacks, bringing his career total to 59.5.

McCoy, 32, will join forces with DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford on Dallas’ D-Line. There, he’ll help to try and fill the void left by the departures of Robert Quinn and Maliek Collins. Quinn cashed in on Tuesday by agreeing to a five-year, $70MM deal with the Bears. Collins, meanwhile, hooked on with the Raiders.

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More Visits In Store For Mike Daniels

Like Gerald McCoy‘s did, Mike Daniels‘ visit with the Browns ended without a contract. The recently released defensive lineman, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, left the team’s facility without a deal (Twitter link).

While an earlier report indicated Daniels had a visit set up for Friday, with a mystery team, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot hears the longtime Packers defender has an extensive tour planned. Daniels will make “numerous” visits and will not decide on a team Thursday, Cabot reports (on Twitter).

The Browns make sense for Daniels to a point. John Dorsey and fellow team execs Alonzo Highsmith and Eliot Wolf were in Green Bay when Daniels was drafted in the 2012 fourth round. However, Cleveland signed Sheldon Richardson to a lucrative deal this offseason and has emerging defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi in place. Daniels would be a luxury the Browns ($34MM-plus in cap space) could afford, but the 30-year-old interior defender may prefer a team with a surefire starting role available.

McCoy opted for the Panthers’ offer over the Browns’ and Ravens’ proposals. It is not known yet if the Ravens are interested in Daniels. But there appears to be some interest from the league’s non-Cleveland locales. The football-following world stands to soon learn who Daniels will visit Friday, and it looks like there will be more meetings in the days to follow.

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Gerald McCoy Voices Displeasure With Buccaneers

Shortly after former Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy agreed to a deal with the Panthers, we heard that his decision to stay in the NFC South rather than sign with the Browns or Ravens — the two other teams that were heavily pursuing him — was based primarily upon the camaraderie he saw during his visit to Carolina, along with his reservations about the cities of Cleveland and Baltimore. Although there was speculation that the chance to exact revenge on his old team two times a season may have had some impact on his choice, it seems that opportunity was more important to McCoy than was previously believed.

Appearing on FS1’s “The Undisputed” (h/t ESPN.com), McCoy unequivocally voiced his displeasure with the Tampa Bay organization. First, McCoy said that the club’s decision to give new signee (and McCoy replacement) Ndamukong Suh No. 93, McCoy’s old number, did not sit well with him. McCoy said, “It may seem like it’s just a number, but it’s bigger than that. It’s respect. That was a big part of the separation between me and Tampa, period, was the respect they showed to me all offseason. It just wasn’t there.”

As McCoy makes clear, the jersey number situation was emblematic of what he perceived to be a general lack of appreciation for his work for, and dedication to, a generally mediocre outfit. He added, “I’m one of the best players to ever play in the organization. I’m going to say it — usually I wouldn’t, but I’m going to say it. It kind of shows the respect and how they feel about me.”

The Bucs knew for some time that they were going to part ways with McCoy, and after they were unable to find a willing trade partner, they ultimately made the decision to release him. Even so, the fact that he did not receive any communication from the team’s coaching staff — including new HC Bruce Arians — while he was still under contract was quite frustrating to McCoy. He said, “I spoke to more people in Baltimore’s, Cleveland’s and Carolina’s staff than I spoke to the Bucs all offseason, and that’s a fact.”

Although the Panthers and Bucs both seem content with the former First Team All-Pros they have added to their defensive lines this offseason, McCoy’s candid remarks will add a layer of interest to this year’s divisional bouts between the two clubs.

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Latest On Browns’ Pursuit Of Gerald McCoy

We heard earlier tonight that the Browns may have made Gerald McCoy an offer that exceeded the deal he ultimately signed with the Panthers. However, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says that isn’t the case, as the Browns “weren’t touching” the $10.25MM maximum contract value he got with Carolina (Twitter link).

McCoy was set to make $13MM before he was released by the Buccaneers, and Cleveland was looking for him to “take a fairly sizable pay cut.” Fowler says the Browns ultimately pegged the 31-year-old as an $8MM player, which is what the defensive tackle ended up taking from the Panthers (without incentives). However, it’s uncertain if the Browns’ $8MM valuation accounted for incentives, and we don’t know if the guaranteed money would have exceed the $4MM he’ll be getting from Carolina.

Soon after McCoy’s release from Tampa Bay, the Browns were mentioned as potential suitors for McCoy. The Browns’ up-and-coming roster reportedly appealed to McCoy, although there was a chance the veteran would have had to play a reserve role in Cleveland. Head coach Freddie Kitchens even admitted as much last week.

“I know the more good football players you have, the better you are, the better rotation there is, the better you can get after a quarterback in a two-minute drive,” Kitchens said (via ESPN.com’s Tony Grossi). “There’s a staggering stat, like, 78 percent of two-minute drives, if you give up a sack, your chances of scoring goes to under 20 percent. He knows when we want to put pressure on the quarterback. He knows that’s what we’re going to be about. Hopefully he wants to be a part of it.”

The Browns added Sheldon Richardson earlier this offseason, and they also have former third-rounder Larry Ogunjobi slotted in as a starter. Of course, McCoy would have provided the team with a considerable upgrade over the likes of Trevon Coley and Brian Price.

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Ravens Offered Gerald McCoy $8MM Guaranteed?

Gerald McCoy agreed to sign with the Panthers today, opting to remain the NFC South rather than venture to the Browns or Ravens in the AFC North. Apparently, though, Baltimore did everything it could to bring McCoy into the fold.

McCoy landed a one-year, $8MM pact from Carolina that could be worth as much as $10.25MM. However, only $4MM of that is guaranteed, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports, the Ravens were willing to give McCoy double that amount in fully-guaranteed money (video link). RapSheet adds that the Browns also put together a strong package that may have surpassed the Panthers’ offer.

It’s unclear what incentives Baltimore or Cleveland were offering to enhance the value of their proposals, but many of the incentives in McCoy’s Panthers deal do not seem especially difficult to achieve (provided he remains healthy). McCoy is due $3MM in base pay — and it’s not as though the Panthers are going to cut him to avoid paying that salary — and he can earn $500K in camp roster bonuses, another $500K in 45-man per game bonuses, $500K if he tallies six sacks, and $1.5MM if he posts eight sacks. He also has playoff and Pro Bowl incentives. The eight-sack incentive may be a tall order, but the others are either very likely or at least attainable (and McCoy did tally 8.5 sacks in 2015, with totals of seven, six, and six in each of the past three seasons).

So in reality, McCoy may ultimately earn just as much in Carolina as he would have with the Ravens or Browns (both of whom also boast strong front-sevens). But McCoy was drawn to the camaraderie he saw during his visit with the Panthers, and he preferred to remain in the South. He enjoyed his visits to Cleveland and Baltimore but had reservations about the cities themselves.

Of course, the chance to exact revenge on the Bucs likely had at least some part in McCoy’s decision, especially with Tampa Bay giving McCoy’s No. 93 to new signee Ndamukong Suh.

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Panthers To Sign Gerald McCoy

Free agent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has elected to sign with the Panthers, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that it will be a one-year, $8MM pact that can be worth as much as $10.25MM with incentives, and Schefter adds that it includes a $4MM signing bonus (Twitter link).

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds more details on the incentive package (Twitter link). In addition to his $4MM signing bonus and $3MM base pay, McCoy can earn $500K in camp roster bonuses, another $500K in 45-man per game bonuses, $500K if he tallies six sacks, and $1.5MM if he posts eight sacks. He also has playoff and Pro Bowl incentives.

McCoy quickly became the hottest name on the market upon his release from the Buccaneers, and he visited with the Browns, Ravens, and Panthers. It sounds as though the Ravens were the runner-up in the McCoy sweepstakes, as Schefter tweets that McCoy left Baltimore thinking he may very well sign there. But Carolina wowed him during his visit, and Panthers QB Cam Newton made a convincing sales pitch. The fact that he can now terrorize his old team twice in 2019 may have also been a factor.

The Panthers reinforce a strong D-line that now includes three Pro Bowlers in McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Kawann Short. McCoy may not be the player he once was, but the 31-year-old is still a fearsome presence, especially considering his ability to generate an interior pass rush. He has 54.5 career sacks to his credit, and he is also durable, as he has not missed more than three games in a season since 2011.

Short and Poe each played between 50-60% of the Panthers’ defensive snaps in 2018, so McCoy fits nicely into the club’s rotation. He ranked fourth among defensive tackles with 21 quarterback hits in 2018 and finished as the NFL’s No. 28 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus.

The Panthers cleared out $9MM in cap space over the past week by officially releasing Matt Kalil and restructuring the contract of Torrey Smith. As Joe Person of The Athletic tweets, Carolina still has $8MM to conduct the rest of its offseason business.

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Gerald McCoy Hopes To Sign Today

Gerald McCoy‘s agent is actively negotiating with the Panthers, Browns, and Ravens, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). There’s no real timetable for McCoy to sign, though Rapoport notes that he would like to be on the field for the start of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, wherever he lands. 

McCoy drew interest from seemingly 1/3rd of the NFL, but the Ravens and Browns seem to be in the lead for his services. The Panthers have also made a strong push to land McCoy in an effort to give Kawann Short a quality partner on the interior.

McCoy has 54.5 career sacks to his credit and has not missed more than three games in a season since 2011. He’d be an instant difference maker for any of those three clubs and each team would offer him a chance to win in 2019.

Ultimately, it may come down to money for McCoy and his camp – the veteran has reportedly garnered offers as high as $11MM/year, but it’s hard to see him reaching that mark after Ndamukong Suh signed for less than $10MM with the Bucs.

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