The Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots have often been trade partners the last few years. From Jamie Collins two years ago and Danny Shelton just a few weeks ago, the exchange of players between the clubs has come somewhat regularly. Now you can add another to the list.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Browns have agreed to send cornerback, Jason McCourty and a 7th round pick to the Patriots in exchange for the team’s sixth-round selection in 2018. McCourty replaces the recently departed Malcolm Butler as the Patriots number two corner behind Stephon Gilmore. In addition, McCourty will finally team up with his twin, Devin McCourty after fruitless attempts in the past.
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Initially, reports had the Browns releasing McCourty after just one season with the team. However, the Patriots gave up very little to ensure McCourty will help address their secondary need. Particularly at cornerback.
McCourty spent the first eight years of his career in Tennessee after being selected in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. The Patriots have been intrigued by the other McCourty for several years now. Last season, when he was a free agent, the Patriots were quite stacked at the cornerback position, so the timing wasn’t quite right.
Now, McCourty solidifies the cornerback depth chart as he joins last seasons free agent acquisition, Stephon Gilmore, as well as Eric Rowe, Jonathon Jones, and Johnson Bademosi. Former second-round pick, Cyrus Jones, is also expected to return from an injury that cost him all of last season.
After a quiet start to the free agency period, the Patriots are starting to do what they always do. Last seasons signing of Gilmore notwithstanding. Generally, after the initial rush of big names are gone, the Patriots wait and find the right player at the right price. In McCourty, they got both.