CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns will get to show Gerald McCoy how far they’ve come.
The free-agent defensive tackle, released earlier this week by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will visit Cleveland on Friday. General manager John Dorsey said the meeting will be an opportunity for both sides to see if they want a future together.
“It’s a chance for us to kind of get a chance to meet each other, one on one, and let’s find out who Gerald is,” Dorsey said Thursday during a downtown celebration for Cleveland’s selection by the NFL to host the 2021 draft. “It also gives Gerald a chance to see who the Cleveland Browns are and what direction we’re headed.”
A six-time Pro Bowler, McCoy was let go after the Bucs couldn’t find a trade partner willing to take on his $13 million salary. They agreed to terms with Ndamukong Suh to take his spot.
Several other teams have expressed interest in McCoy, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 draft. The 31-year-old had a down year — by his standards — in 2018, but Dorsey believes McCoy isn’t close to being finished.
“With regards to his ability to play the game of football, he can still play the game of football,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey downplayed the significance of McCoy agreeing to meet with the Browns, who have major expectations in 2019 following an offseason in which the team added star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and edge rusher Olivier Vernon.
“We’re going to turn over every rock and let’s just see what happens,” Dorsey said. “I mean, it’s just a visit.”
McCoy had six sacks in 14 games last season and has 54+ in 123 career games.
During his visit, he’ll get to meet new Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens as well as defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. He’s already familiar with Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who spent three seasons in Tampa and speaks highly of McCoy.
“I think a lot of Gerald,” Monken said following Wednesday’s practice. “Gerald has had a tremendous career and was an outstanding football player for us. He’s a great person.”