BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots allowed Trey Flowers to depart via free agency this offseason, instead opting to sign veteran Michael Bennett at a more affordable rate. Might the Patriots be interested in acquiring top talent for lesser dollars once more?

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that at least appears to be a possibility, after Gerald McCoy was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday.

Schefter said that the nine-year veteran and six-time Pro Bowler is interested in joining a winning team, which would obviously include the Patriots, who have made four of the last five Super Bowls.

That Schefter included the Browns, Chargers, Jaguars and Cowboys does show that the standard for “wants to win” is not absolute. None of those teams has even reached a Super Bowl since the mid-’90s, while Jacksonville and Cleveland have never made the Super Bowl in franchise history.

Nevertheless, the Patriots offer the distinct advantage of just about guaranteeing a playoff season, coming close to guaranteeing a conference championship appearance, and providing about a 50-50 shot of playing in the Super Bowl. For a veteran player who’s never tasted the playoffs and has seen his team go 52-92 during his career, that offer may be worth taking a discount.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times wrote that the Patriots, Saints, Chargers and Browns would all be interested in singing McCoy.

The 31-year-old defensive tackle played in 14 games last year, and he’s averaged 15 games played per year since 2012. He recorded six sacks and 28 total tackles last season, and he had 21 quarterback hits. He made the Pro Bowl every year from 2012-17, and he was named First Team All-Pro in 2013.

The Patriots re-signed defensive tackle Danny Shelton on Monday, though that deal wouldn’t preclude the Patriots from still pursuing McCoy.

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