A report in the Akron Beacon Journal states that Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey is interested in trading for Tampa Bay’s six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The Browns have been making some bold moves this offseason trying to get to the playoffs, including trading for Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Acquiring a veteran defensive tackle like McCoy could be the next one.

The Browns have a surplus of running backs after drafting Nick Chubb in the second round last year and acquiring the league’s 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Kareem Hunt this offseason, which was another bold move considering that he was released by Kansas City last November after video of him assaulting a woman surfaced. The running back that may be on the way out is Duke Johnson, who averaged 5.0 yards per carry last year with 40 carries for 201 yards. 299 carries for 1,286 yards (4.3 avg.) and five touchdowns since entering the league as a third-round pick in 2015.

Johnson wants an opportunity for more touches and won’t get that behind Chubb and Hunt. In addition to clearing $13 million worth of salary cap room by getting rid of McCoy’s salary, Bucs would like to bolster their backfield and have the need for a pass-catching running back, and may pursue a player-for-player swap by sending the 31-year old McCoy, who has posted six sacks in each of the last two years, to Cleveland in exchange for the 25-year old Johnson.

Johnson is also an accomplished receiver out of the backfield with 47 catches for 429 yards (9.3 avg.) and three touchdowns last year. The Miami product has 235 passes for 2,170 yards (9.2 avg.) and eight touchdowns in his four-year Browns career.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

44 COMMENTS

  1. Make it happen! Gives some much needed cap relieve and fulfills an area of need at RB.

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  2. Well that’s intriguing. Didn’t expect the interest in McCoy to come after the draft and I see the potential of keeping McCoy. We should definitely be open to this. Duke would be an excellent 3rd down RB!

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    Rating: +41. From 43 votes.
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  3. The Cleveland Browns are actually serious about trying to win Dorsey has changed everything over there. The Cleveland Browns are operating in a hundred and eighty degrees differently than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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  4. Should have seen this coming.After the draft some team didn’t fill some needs and the Browns feel like they can make a playoff run.Im surprised the Colts wasn’t the first team to come knocking.As long as the Bucs get something for him.If the Bucs trade him they may have to keep Gholston.

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    Rating: +13. From 19 votes.
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  5. After reading the Akron Beacon Journal article, it seems pretty clear that Cleveland is already stacked on the DL. Though trading for Johnson might be a good move, I would much rather it be a DL sway of McCoy for Ogunjobi, who was drafted by the previous regime anyway. Get Duke and Ogunjobi, and I’m good to go and ready to say good-bye to McCoy and thanks for the memories!

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    Rating: -7. From 53 votes.
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  6. oops, that should be a swap, not sway…

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  7. Browns need to do us a solid. They took out Kwon Alexander’s knees last year during Duffner’s debut (in which Kwon was back in that game!) and they took out Jack Cichy’s knees too. They better do us right. We won the battle against them last year but lost the war.

    Who knows. Maybe we take Ed Oliver or Josh Allen this year if we didn’t have such a gaping hole on our LB roster… thanks to the Browns!

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  8. This would be a good trade for both teams although don’t expect Hunt to be playing for 5 to 10 games next season.
    Gholston knows he’s on the bubble and the hot seat next year with both Nassib and the the new draft pick this year so expect a good effort out of him during the upcoming preseason and season.
    So many DL coaches have come in here and seen so much potential in Gholston but no one has been able to actualize it. Only Gholston can do that.

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    Rating: +19. From 23 votes.
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  9. Please make this happen!

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    Rating: +18. From 22 votes.
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  10. This would be good for Bucs and GMC.

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  11. good that Jason didn’t get extra pics
    Our new gm will be in place by then

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  12. We need a pass rushing tackle. Oh wait. We got one. GMC. Do not trade him.

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    Rating: +1. From 27 votes.
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  13. Looking from the Brown’s point of view. Johnson is guaranteed 4 million over the next three years. His based salary is 2.3 million in 2019 and 4.1 million in 2020. He is expensive for a third RB option and his guaranteed money would make McCoy more reasonable. His yards per carry last year 5. Very possible + interesting salary swap. If the Brown keep Johnsonm, they would have expensive backup. McCoy is the better player. Johnson would be nicely priced this year. but in 2020 be overpriced. This a Buccaneer dream scenario because they get a decent RB+ cap room. The Brown’s avoid paying some dead cap and get an above average DT.r

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    Rating: +28. From 34 votes.
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  14. Mehhhh idk. I don’t value RBs much, and Duke isn’t a game changer imo. Would rather have something else.

    Besides, why would the Browns get rid of Duke? Maybe when Hunt comes back sure. But not right now.

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  15. So easy for us sideline GMs to make these million dollar decisions…why doesn’t McCoy renegotiate and stay with this team … We finally have a real head coach and the Lady Coaches … this organization is turning the corner and breaking barriers…Browns win now…Bucs can win NOW also… especially since there’s competition at the kicking position😉

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  16. I guess I’m one of the few who don’t want to see this happen. I would be in favor of doing this if we had done the right thing and drafted a DT to replace McCoy in the 2nd of third rounds, but not at this point. Cut Gholston, Spence, and the dead weight in the secondary. Keep McCoy for 2019.

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    Rating: +14. From 28 votes.
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  17. No team needs RB more than Bucs ………………………………………..
    McCoy was promised to much money and Bucs cant pay him so it is good move for both .
    McCoy will be missed more than the Pewter trolls will ever know.
    I have adjusted to fact he is gone
    I like McCoy and in Cleveland he can play in a playoff games
    Playoffs are out of reach in Tampa for foreseeable future.

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    Rating: -13. From 27 votes.
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  18. Buck-Ass-Bob,
    Hopefully the new regime led by BA & JL is actually operating more like from a say 160 degrees or 190 degrees or even 127 degrees differently than the Bucs. By that I mean that I hope they are coming at this from an altogether different angle than we are used to. It could possibly amount to a form of “thinking out of the box”. This is a speculation on my part only.

    All I do know so far is that our offensive guys from last year are mostly still in place. They are learning a new play-book. Our defense is transitioning to the 3-4 base but this year it will be some kind of hybrid scheme. I am having to rethink a lot of what I thought I understood and learn what the 3-4 really means now.

    We can see a lot of changes around here already. The large coaching staff and the promise of two concurrent practice sessions every day represent major changes to me. I anticipate more surprises will come before our opening game. Good or bad? Only the actual season will tell the story.
    __________
    Go Bucs!!!!!!

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  19. P.S. I hope for the best for GMAC also. He deserves more! He is/was underappreciated by many people here in Tampa Bay.

    ________
    Go Bucs!!!!!!!

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    Rating: +5. From 13 votes.
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  20. OMG, NO, NO, NO!!! just what BUCS need a 5’9 210lb retread, third team RB from a non-playoff team, to a BUCS team whose OL can’t let our rookie 2nd rd pick get back to the line of scrimmage to make any plus yardage. GMC is a stud DL and can still destroy any OL in NFL one on one period. A little expensive because of our salary cap position but worth his salary, and he is NOT our problem, he has ALWAYS been the best athlete on BUCS team. ONLY trade if acknowledging BUCS in a total rebuild process and do NOT want to make playoffs. And HUGE IF but IF want to trade GMC to Cleveland for one player, consider Austin Corbett-OG to play at our pathetic RG spot. And Cleveland still wins that trade with GMC for Corbett, but at least addresses one of our severe weaknesses-(RG). ALL PRO DT for second year nonstarter OL from Browns. NO VALUE FOR DUKE JOHNSON TO BUCS AIN’T CHANGING BUCS OL!!!

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    Rating: -6. From 26 votes.
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  21. Only for Chubb. If he’s not part of the trade they can keep it.

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  22. Interesting theory, but we just signed Ellington to be our 3rd down receiving back so I don’t think the value is really there. Like others have stated, no RB will do well behind this holy OLine we’ll be fielding. Unless the coaches can get at least 200% more production out of these guys, it’ll be hard to get value out of any RB.

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    Rating: +1. From 15 votes.
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  23. I don’t think it’s gonna be a player swap only. Even the Browns know that we can’t handle GMCs salery.
    They would like a compensation for McCoys 13 mio, they will handle the trade like the one for Osweiler. We’re getting nothing for a 31 year old player with a hefty price tag.

    Browns get: McCoy + 5th rounder 2020
    Bucs get: Duke Johnson + 7th rounder 2020

    I’d rather take Ogunjobi and pick up a RB from the street like Bilal Powell, Spencer Ware or Alex Collins

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    Rating: +1. From 9 votes.
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  24. Well, you mentioned GMC taking a salary cut to stay with the team but unfortunately their are not many players these days willing to do so for the sake of keeping a team together like in the 80’s perhaps where it was true for both football and basketball.

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  25. I like McCoy. I think he is a better player than a loud portion of Bucs fans seem to think. However, the writing seems to be on the wall. He cost $13 mil. We need it for other things. If some type of restructuring on his (or others) contract doesn’t happen he’s going to get cut. Might as well get something. If it’s another player, then O.K. although I have no idea who that Browns player should be. it would be (really) nice to have a future draft pick thrown in – like 4th or 5th round (perhaps that’s just delusional wishful thinking…).

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  26. You greedy bastards, we’d be lucky to get a box of Cracker Jacks for McCoy. We need his cap space, and we need his losing mentality removed from the locker room so White, and others can be the new faces of our defense if not our franchise.

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  27. Bruce Arians, if you make this deal you are waving the white flag on the season.

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    Rating: -11. From 15 votes.
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  28. If the Toledo Mudhelmets offered a bag of potato chips for Gerald McCoy, they should take it. This is an addition by subtraction.

    McCoy has been bad, as in not good. Fans who say he’s better than what we have or he’s helpful haven’t been watching. He’s like an old Trent Dilfer.

    This new defense is a 3-4. McCoy is not a 3-4 guy. It’s like putting old Trent Dilfer in an RPO offense. Not a good fit.

    No interest and no takers doesn’t mean the Bucs should keep him. No takers means the Bucs should cut him. This is common sense.

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    Rating: -3. From 15 votes.
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  29. Why weren’t they interested during the draft? Could have done GMC for Duke and a 4th rounder.

    Although, Licht probably would have took another CB or K with that 4th round pick.

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  30. The sadest time in a players career when they get too old for their contract, whether they are playing well or not… JPP has a great year last year and still people already talk about needing his replacement because he just turned 30… Simeon Rice played till he was what? 34? 35? I see JPP being able to make it another 3-4 years… McCoy still had 6 Sacks and 21 WB hits and was in on over 70% of the plays last year I believe and people wanna dog him cause he gets knocked around sometimes because he’s gotta be the only one that happens to right? McCoy May have to leave because we need his $13 mil and maybe because he’s not a 3-4 DT but at least show him respect. He may not have been the foot stomping asshole Suh was and too nice of a guy for some people but he fought back from injuries and played hard his entire career here. There may not be a place for him here now for one reason or another and if that’s the case I hope a deal like this can work out for him and we can get a decent RB and everyone can be happy and that he can finish his career however he wants… Don’t disrespect guys that were proud to be Bucs and we’re so helpful in the community and is the quality of person that a lot of people should strive to be…

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    Rating: +6. From 12 votes.
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  31. This McCoy situation isn’t really a salary issue.

    The Bucs have $1.779m in cap space. Only the top 51 salaries are counted against the cap. With new rookie salaries offsetting five current top 51 salaries and considering the Bucs could cut Santos, Benenoch, and Ryan Smith, the Bucs would be at $1.089m after signing rookies.

    The 44th-50th salary is 645k per person. #51 is $606k.

    The Bucs draft picks after the 5th round will not have top 51 salary. Round 1-4(5 picks) have offsetting salary increases against the cap.

    #51 Jack Cichy $606k replaced by Anthony Nelson $688k. $82k difference.
    #50 Bobo Wilson $645k Mike Edwards $685k. $40k
    #49 Michael Liedtke $645k Jamel Dean $705k. $60k
    #48 Isaiah Johnson $645k Carl Bunting $1.338m. $693k
    #47 Devante Bond $645k Devin White $5.311m. $4.67m

    Bucs are at $1.779m in cap space. $5.545 in salary cap needed. So they need $3.8m. If the Bucs cut Santos($805k), Benenoch($2.025m) and CB Ryan Smith($2.025m), they’re able to pick up almost $5m and pay for their rookies.

    McCoy hasn’t been good the last few years and that’s in a 4-3 system he has played in for 12 years including college. A new 3-4 defense, another new staff, and a year older won’t be better. It’s just time to move on. He is a liability when he’s in there and his mentorship and leadership has been on display for 9 years. How has that worked out?

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  32. For all of those thinking duke for McCoy would be a bad grade aren’t up with what the new regime is doing. They cannot afford McCoy so if you can get a trade for
    Him, you take it without question. Otherwise you lose him to being cut with nothing. And as far as dike Johnson goes, I don’t want to hear that he’s a “retread” he can run, and catch passes out of the back field. You can put him in motion and he can brake ankles. He has been underutilized in Cleveland with all the RB’s they have. He’s a major upgrade and if the Bucs got him, I could see him being the starter immediately. Go Bucs!

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  33. Duke Johnson lol. @pewterreport will you please put a damn edit button on here? Lol

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  34. I agree with Chef. Duke Johnson would be a nice piece in the backfield. Upgrade over RoJo and Ellington.

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  35. That would be great since we can’t seem to get the ball to Jones out of the backfield which I still think he could work out. As someone said earlier, he has someone in his face as soon as he touches the ball. O-Line???? They should have taken the back from Memphis with their 3 rd pick instead of making the awful trade with LA to get Dean from Auburn. If Licht can make this happen, I might wait until the end of the season before wanting him out of here instead of now.

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  36. The fact that we’re having this conversation at all – should we trade a perennial pro bowler for a backup RB from Cleveland (who I too liked at Miami), and go with Beau Allen as our starting DT – is surely one of the very final nails in the Jason Licht coffin. How did he let it get to this point?…what a failure.

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  37. What it says is that they had no real plan.

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  38. Perrenial pro bowl player! Lol. Does “perrenial” include the last 2 seasons?

    He’s been a Bucs “Perrenial Pro Bowl” player, but how many other people around him did he make better? I don’t want to hear any more Gerald McCoy excuses about its the coaches, players around him, systems, foes, or injuries.

    Sapp set an impossible standard in Tampa. He was a great player in his own right. I can name at least 20 signature plays he was responsible for alone. What’s most impressive to me is how good he made those around him.

    Stylez G. White, Anthony McFarland, Chidi Ahanotu, Chris Hovan, Brad Culpepper, Greg Spires, Regan Upshaw, Tyoka Jackson, Marcus Jones and even Simeon Rice all greatly benefitted from playing next to #99. All of the names on the list were average or above average players except Rice. That’s 10 players Sapp made better over 9 years.

    Who did McCoy make better?

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  39. Pretty sure Sapp had already retired when Stylze G White was here, however you may have a point with Brad Culpepper.

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  40. Well…yes @bucwild02 it includes 2017. He made 6 pro bowls in a row before having his streak broken last season for the first time since his second year in the league. So, yes that equates to perennial.

    BTW, I’m not opposed to moving on from GMC. I’m simply opposed to the complete lack of strategy shown by Licht regarding this issue. He didn’t draft a replacement, he didn’t sign a FA replacement, and this trade talk isn’t for a replacement.

    Did this issue suddenly take him by surprise…funny how that happens when you follow a ridiculous path of “flood a position group”, a.k.a “ignore several position groups”.

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  41. I believe White was the right pick. Second round I would’ve replaced Dotson, and his 4 plus million with Risner. Third I would’ve stayed, and drafted Henderson, the back the Rams moved up for even tho they have Gurley. For me that would’ve been a home run draft, I feel that’s three starters, three up grades at positions of need. I think we still could’ve drafted some quality DB’s maybe some of the same ones after round three. I believe the Bucs should’ve signed the Jet FA corner, instead of putting more rookies in the secondary this year.

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  42. @captain-sly Thanks and you’re right. I didn’t look any of the names up, just listed them off the top of my head. My point remains. Sapp made regular guys around him memorable. McCoy doesn’t and never will.

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  43. @eastendboy Thanks for reminding me how pointless the pro bowl is. Lavonte David has a total of one pro bowl, and that was as an alternate. McCoy had an AWFUL season in 2017. 6 sacks and 20 tackles. He missed more tackles than he made. He wasn’t even in the top 20 of defensive tackles, yet he made the pro bowl! Fan voting rules!

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  44. This whole Mcoy saga is just bizarre to me because you have already written him out of your budget so why not just cut him? If you say let’s see what we can get in a trade, well shouldn’t you have done this before the draft so that you could have at least drafted his replacement? If you say that is Vea is his replacement then that would have been even more reason to cut him by now. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for what is going on at 1 Buc Place these days. Winston is your potential franchise QB1 20 mil but you’re willing to protect him with Benenoch & Dotson who is washed up. Makes no sense to me right now, Palm Palms Down for the moment.

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