Now that the Bucs have released perennial Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on Monday night, the question becomes for the veteran defensive tackle: which places are the most logical landing areas for him?
And, the Bucs have to be somewhat concerned that one of those is an NFC South rival.
As we wrote about earlier Monday night, McCoy has trained frequently in the off seasons of his nine-year pro career in San Diego with Saints quarterback Drew Brees, as they share the same personal trainer and staff.
The Saints have been the standard of the NFC South since McCoy has come into the league, and they would love nothing more than to grab somebody to help them along the defensive front and haunt the Buccaneers twice a year in the process.
As of Monday Night according to spotrac.com, the Saints sit $8.4 million under the cap and could easily give McCoy most of that in a 1-year guaranteed deal. They also could restructure other contracts after June 1st and even release players if needed, to give McCoy significantly more if they wanted.
The team with the most salary cap room, as of Monday Night, is the Indianapolis Colts with a staggering $58.5 million available for this season. However, now that it’s McCoy’s choice, you wonder if you would choose the Midwest any team that he has no real ties to? Then again, the Colts were a playoff team a year ago, and are clearly going to be a contender again this season.
It has been reported that the Cleveland Browns and their GM John Dorsey had been talking to the Buccaneers and their GM Jason Licht about a possible McCoy trade in and around the draft or even post draft. That trade never came to fruition, but McCoy may now be on “the Brownies” radar. Cleveland sits at $33.3 million under the cap currently.
A dark horse team to watch out for could be, the Dallas Cowboys. It’s no secret that owner / GM Jerry Jones loves to make splash signings and moves. And Dallas has $19.4 million under their cap for this season. The challenge for them is they have to contemplate new extension deals for both QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott for the future. And, McCoy might not be able to make very much even, if he’s playing under the Silver Star in Big D.
One final point is that McCoy was one of the last rookie classes were there was not a rookie salary cap under the old collective bargaining agreement. Therefore, he made $18 million in his 2010 rookie season and made over $67 million dollars in his nine-year Bucs career.
So, clearly he doesn’t have to have money, as the primary motive for whatever team or situation he goes to for 2019.
Giants name top pick QB Jones starter for Bucs game Sunday
It only took two lackluster games and losses for the New York Giants to decide to go with the youth movement at quarterback and start number one pick, Daniel Jones this week against the Bucs.
Daniel Jones has been named Giants starting QB
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 17, 2019
The Giants were beaten decisively for the second consecutive week 28 – 14 Sunday in their home opener to the Bills at MetLife Stadium. Manning had an up and down game going 26-45 for 250 yards 1TD but 2 INTs.
In their week one loss to the Cowboys in Dallas, Jones actually replaced Manning in the second half during an 35-17 defeat. Jones was 3-4 for 17 yards with one carry for 5 yards in “mop up duty” in the fourth quarter. Jones did play extensively and at times well, in the preseason.
There is already great speculation that if/when this move would inevitably made, it would signal the end of Manning’s time in New York. The younger brother of Peyton Manning has won two Super bowls with the Giants but his and New York’s play has been awful on offense with back-to-back losing seasons of 2017 – 18.
The 38 year old Manning is in the final year of latest contract with New York paying him $17 million, with a dead cap hit of $11.7 million if the Giants release him. So, that is not likely at this time. However, there are numerous teams like the Steelers and crosstown Jets who are in desperate need of quarterback help, immediately. It remains to be seen what New York will elect to do with their former hero QB.
Meanwhile, the Bucs come off a hard-fought Thursday night Road win over Carolina and will have extra rest going into this contest with the team that they are very familiar with in the NFC East. This is the third year in a row that they are meeting the Giants. New York having won the November match up a year ago with Manning performing well hitting 17 of 18 passes and throwing 2 TDs in a 38-35 victory.
Jones comes out of the Duke football program coached by David Cutcliffe, who was also Manning’s college coach at Ole Miss. So, it was almost as if the handwriting was on the wall to pass the torch to Jones at whatever point the Giants felt they needed to move on from Eli.
Brees out with thumb injury for Bucs and Jaguars games
The expected bad news on Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ injured thumb has come on Monday. And, it means the New Orleans quarterback will miss upcoming October games with the Bucs and the Jaguars.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday morning that Brees will be sidelined up to 6 weeks with the injured ligament in the thumb on his throwing hand:
Saints' QB Drew Brees is expected to undergo thumb surgery as early as today that would be expected to sideline him approximately 6 weeks, per leagues sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 16, 2019
Brees was injured in the second quarter of Sunday’s 30 – 9 loss to the L.A. Rams at the Coliseum in Los Angeles. He was shown on the sideline with his thumb in a splint (above), as the game worn on and did not return to action.
Brees, who will be a certain first-ballot Hall-of-Famer and who led the Saints to their only Super Bowl appearance/win in franchise history in 2009, has been one of the 2-3 top quarterbacks in the NFL for over a decade. Brees, in his 19th season, currently has the NFL’s all time record for completions and passing yards that he accomplished a year ago. He has a staggering 115 games with 300 or more passing yards and another remarkable 12 straight seasons with 4,000 passing yards that is now in jeopardy with the injured thumb.
The Saints will now turn to veteran back up Teddy Bridgewater who filled in Sunday but did not have much success against the stout Rams defense in the loss. Bridgewater, the former Vikings QB, was 17-30 for 165 yards, as New Orleans never found the endzone in the game.
The Sains also have young third QB Taysom Hill, and he’s also been used as a receiver and a special teams ace by New Orleans.
The Bucs, who were winners Thursday night at Carolina, will travel to play the Saints at the Superdome on October 6th in the first of their two NFC South meetings. The following week, New Orleans will be at TIAA Bank Field to take on the Jaguars in their first appearance in North Florida in eight years.
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