Early Thursday afternoon, the Browns were releasing Jason McCourty so that he’d be able to play for a contender.
A few hours later, the team decided to trade McCourty to the defending AFC Champions.
Cleveland sent the cornerback along with a 2018 7th round pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2018 6th round pick.
This is the second trade completed between Cleveland and New England as the Browns sent defensive tackle Danny Shelton to the Patriots last Saturday.
McCourty signed with Cleveland last offseason to add some veteran leadership on the defensive side of the ball but he exceeded expectations with his play on the field.
In 14 games (all starts, McCourty had 65 tackles, two forced fumbles, 14 pass deflections and 3 interceptions, one of which he took back for a touchdown in Week 6 against Houston.
Pro Football Focus graded McCourty as the 27th best corner in the NFL during the 2017 season.
He’ll now be reunited with his twin brother Devin in the Patriots who needed a cornerback after losing Malcolm Butler to the Tennessee Titans in free agency.
Cleveland is reshaping the secondary with Damarious Randall, Terrence Mitchell and TJ Carrie who they’ve added to the roster via trades or free agency in the last week.
They’ve also been linked to Tyrann Mathieu who was just released by the Arizona Cardinals and with the team having around $68 million in cap space could make a strong offer to lure the “Honey Badger” to the Browns.