Short of offering more money, the Ravens can't make the case the Browns can for Gerald McCoy

Pete Smith

Gerald McCoy visited the Cleveland Browns and as reported by Lane Adkins of the Orange and Brown Report, the meeting went well. Gerald McCoy thought it well, the Browns organization thought it went well and the two sides will continue talking.

One of the other teams McCoy appears poised to visit is the Baltimore Ravens. They do have an argument.

That argument just doesn't seem as compelling as the ones the Browns have. Both teams have cap space to make a competitive bid, though it's unknown what the two teams are willing to give McCoy

Although the Ravens have more proof that they are a contender by virtue of making the playoffs this past season, the Browns are better on paper. The Browns have a lot of promise, but only a 7-8-1 record to show for it this past year, so they have more to prove.

Beyond that, the Browns offer far more than the Ravens do. In terms of the defensive lines, the Ravens have more bodies, but they don't offer as much front line talent. The group the Ravens have is certainly better than that of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but isn't anywhere close to the Browns.

The Ravens have Michael Pierce and Brandon Williams, who are a veritable wall up front. Matt Judon is a solid pass rusher off the edge. Willie Henry is a pretty good 3-tech defensive tackle. After those, it's largely quantity over quality. That's simply not as good as Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon, Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi, who with Genard Avery and McCoy would form an impressive group of six. The Ravens might be able to go nine deep without a ton of drop off, but they would need more from McCoy than the Browns would in terms of output and impact.

It could be the quarterback decision that is what swings the decision. Baker Mayfield is simply better than Lamar Jackson right now. And McCoy, who played at Oklahoma, loves Oklahoma football and knows Baker Mayfield from his career at Oklahoma. Unless the Ravens are simply offering more money, this would be the single best reason to choose the Browns as the quarterback will ultimately determine how far these teams can go. The question with Mayfield is how far can he take the Browns while with Jackson, it's more of a case of will his issues passing the ball hold the Ravens back.

All of this assumes McCoy makes a rational, fact-based decision. Unfortunately, this type of decision isn't always rational. Whether the Ravens have players he simply likes better or he more comfortable there, he could ultimately sign there anyway, throwing logic out the window.

The Ravens are a threat to sign McCoy, but they don't seem like they are the team that the Browns need to be the most worried about in competing for his services. That seems like it might be reserved for the New Orleans Saints.


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