News came out Monday evening that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The release was less about production and more about payment as McCoy was due a $13 million salary. If cut before June 1st, the Buccaneers would have no dead money.
So now the question: Should the San Francisco 49ers go after him?
The defensive line on its own is Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas and Nick Bosa. One of those pieces is not like the others, meaning Solomon Thomas. When talking about bringing McCoy in, it stands to once again state that Thomas has been disappointing, not a bust. There was some speculation the 49ers may move on and draft Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams in the 2019 NFL Draft but they took Bosa instead which all but stated one more year for Thomas.
McCoy’s best season was in 2013. He played a full 16 games (his last season to do so), notched 9.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, and 35 solo tackles. Since 2013 he’s had a slight decay in stats, but still maintained solid production. In 2016, he totaled seven sacks and two fumbles recovered (that he forced). 2017 and 2018 gave him six sacks apiece. While McCoy’s numbers have gone down, he still can offer solid production.
Maybe the 49ers could bring him in and at worst, rotate him alongside Solomon Thomas. Depending on the market, maybe there could be some contract wizardry that could keep him around if he outplays Thomas or Thomas shows there’s no room for improvement. If Thomas does, the 49ers have a solid three-man defensive tackle rotation and can make some decisions in the offseason.
The problem with that above scenario is playing time. McCoy will want to go somewhere he can start and he’s good enough for a team to let him do that. If he beats Solomon Thomas out in training camp, what happens to Thomas? Is he officially a backup? Thomas could be solid depth for Buckner and McCoy in this situation and if the injury bug hits, the 49ers wouldn’t be near as devastated. The three-man rotation is still a pipe dream.
A one-year prove-it deal in order to see who to keep at the end of the season is out of the question also. At least at this point. McCoy will want one more payday given his age (31 years) and he has the numbers that someone would be willing to do so. So if the 49ers get him, it’s a long-term thing. He’d want money and to start—meaning it’s would be an admission that Thomas is not going to get where the 49ers want him.
All things considered, the 49ers could wait this thing out and see what the market offers him. Maybe the rest of the NFL doesn’t want a defensive tackle whose production has slowly gone down over the years. If a month or two go by, the 49ers have leverage and can offer him a nice deal for a year to give some competition to Thomas and other defensive linemen looking for playing time with no guarantees of how long he’d be on the field.
How would you look into Gerald McCoy? Would you say enough with Solomon Thomas and move McCoy in as the starting DT alongside DeForest Buckner immediately? Wait a bit to see if you can offer less money and get the both of them (McCoy and Thomas) to compete and see what you have in a season?
Or do you stay away from McCoy? Far away?
Should the 49ers go get Gerald McCoy
This poll is closed
Yes, right away. Bye Solomon!
Give it time to see what the rest of the league does, then bring him in to compete
No. No, no no NO!