Would Gerald McCoy make sense for the Denver Broncos?

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 26: Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stands on the field during a timeout against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 26: Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stands on the field during a timeout against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images) /
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving on from defensive lineman Gerald McCoy. Would he make sense with the Denver Broncos’ current situation?

The Denver Broncos certainly don’t “need” anything pressing on the defensive line, but when a player like Gerald McCoy becomes available, it would be foolish not to consider ways he could fit in.

We’ve suggested a number of times this offseason that Ndamukong Suh should be an option as well, and now both of those players are sitting out on the open market and the Denver Broncos’ defensive line depth chart is as follows:

LDE: Derek Wolfe
DT1: Shelby Harris
DT2: Zach Kerr
RDE: Adam Gotsis
Backup: DeMarcus Walker
Backup: Dre’Mont Jones
Backup: Billy Winn

In terms of snaps played last season, Derek Wolfe led all Broncos defensive linemen with 709 (just under 66 percent). Let’s take a look at each of the linemen who are returning to this year’s roster, the number of snaps they played last year and the percentage of defensive snaps they played.

Derek Wolfe: 709 snaps (65.83 percent)
Adam Gotsis: 512 (47.54 percent)
Zach Kerr: 394 (36.58 percent)
Shelby Harris: 390 (36.21 percent)
DeMarcus Walker: 21 (1.95 percent)

So, what does this mean?

This means the Broncos are returning one full-time defensive lineman from last year and a bunch of guys who were sub-package or early-down players.

Gotsis played some passing downs but was mostly on the field for early down work.

Kerr and Harris rotated in and Walker made a couple of cameo appearances throughout the season.

Wolfe was the only player among returning Broncos defensive linemen who were on the field the majority of the time last year.

Domata Peko, who is currently a free agent, played 522 snaps last year, which was second-most among Broncos defensive linemen. Those snaps will obviously have to be replaced.

While with the Bears, Vic Fangio had two defensive linemen (Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman) play more than 50 percent of the snaps. Everything was divided out among players with nobody else in the rotation playing more than 33 percent of the defensive snaps.

This means there will be plenty of work to go around for Broncos defensive linemen, but it also means more work in the 4-3 under looks for Bradley Chubb at defensive end (in my opinion).

It also means the Broncos either need someone to step into a more full-time role on the defensive line or they need someone who has proven they can do it before.

Which brings us back around to Gerald McCoy, who is not only someone to eat up snaps but a high-impact defensive lineman who would work on the left side next to Derek Wolfe.

Do you think Fangio wouldn’t be able to adapt his scheme to a guy like this?

The question is whether or not this is worth the price for the Broncos, and whether or not McCoy would view this team as a contender with him on it.

There’s no doubt the Broncos will be improved this season, and there’s no doubt the defense is going to have some teeth.

The Broncos already have a good-looking crew on the defensive front and McCoy would simply enhance that. His pass rush productivity took a bit of a dip in 2018, but McCoy is still a big-time playmaker up front at the age of 31 and could be a force with Wolfe at his left and Von Miller roaming around behind him.

These are the types of scenarios you love to dream up as an armchair general manager. Unfortunately, reality sets in a bit when you start thinking about the Broncos’ cap space and McCoy’s likely asking price, along with the fact that there are other teams around the league who are probably closer to contending with more money.

But we’ve seen teams manipulate the cap this offseason and the Broncos are no exception. They’re currently trying to work something out with Chris Harris Jr.’s contract but have been unable to reach an agreement.

It’s more likely McCoy signs with a team that has a more glaring need up front as well as more cap space, but if the Broncos didn’t call about the price, it would be foolish of them. This is a player who could be a great asset to this team right away.

Next. Players who need to step up in 2019 for the Broncos. dark

If John Elway is serious about winning — and considering Joe Flacco is getting all of the top reps and is considered the starting QB without even a question, he is — this is a move the team should very seriously consider.