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Should the Jets explore trading for Gerald McCoy?

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 16: Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-21 at Raymond James Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 16: Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-21 at Raymond James Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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With free agency pretty much over, the New York Jets could look to the trade market to add another top-tier player. One of those trade targets could be Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy.

Free agency may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that the New York Jets can’t still explore external options to improve their roster for 2019. One such avenue that could be explored is the ever-increasing trade market.

While rumors have surrounded the Jets in regards to trading for a star wide receiver such as A.J. Green or Mike Evans or even trading for a premier pass rusher like DeMarcus Lawrence or Jadeveon Clowney, another player at a different position could peak the Jets interest.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reportedly been shopping longtime defensive lineman Gerald McCoy and the Jets are one of the teams that have been tied to him. In fact, FanSided.com made a list of five teams that should consider trading for McCoy and the Jets came in at No. 1.

McCoy has been a regular fixture of the Buccaneers defense for the past nine years after originally entering the league as the No. 3 overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft. In his near-decade of NFL experience, McCoy has been selected to six Pro Bowls and even earned First-Team All-Pro honors in 2013.

However, his play has slipped slightly in recent years as he missed the Pro Bowl in 2018 for the first time in seven years. While the Buccaneers would certainly like to keep him around, they won’t be able to do so with his current contract.

McCoy holds a cap hit of $13 million in 2019 and is still under contract until the 2022 season. The Buccaneers will likely attempt to reconstruct his contract, but there are no guarantees that the two can come to an agreement.

As a result, expect them to try and trade McCoy over the coming weeks and months.

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Our friends over at The Pewter Plank laid out an interesting scenario where the Jets would swap a certain player of their own on the trade block for the talented veteran. This scenario sees the Jets sending linebacker Darron Lee to the Buccaneers who are in need of an off-ball linebacker at the moment.

This proposal is intriguing and the Jets would have the cap space in the short-term to get a deal done, but it would be wise for the team to ask for a bit more in return. This isn’t an issue of caliber, rather this is because there are many who believe the Bucs won’t be able to work out a trade after all.

There is still a good possibility that McCoy could end up getting released before the start of next season if Tampa Bay fails to find a trade partner. Because of that, it would make sense for the Jets to ask for a late-round draft pick back in return if they were to also ship Lee over in the deal.

Lee still has upside and while he may evidently not be in the future plans for the Jets, the team might still be able to land a fourth rounder for him. McCoy — contract and all — will likely not net the Buccaneers that much making his trade value less than Lee’s.

At the same time, there wouldn’t be a true fit for McCoy on the Jets roster. Unless the Jets surprisingly switch to a 4-3 defense, the Jets two starting interior linemen in the base nickel are somewhat locked up in Henry Anderson and Leonard Williams. Barring a potential trade of Williams, McCoy wouldn’t have a defined starting role.

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A trade for McCoy seems unlikely and it wouldn’t necessarily be in the best interest of the team. But for a Jets team looking to add premier players wherever they can, it’s an option that should at least be considered.

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