New England Patriots acquire Jason McCourty from Cleveland Browns

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Deonte Thompson
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Deonte Thompson /

The New England Patriots have completed another trade with the Cleveland Browns, acquiring cornerback Jason McCourty from Cleveland.

The free agent period has not been kind to the New England Patriots thus far. New England has had a number of defections by key players on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Patriots have lost wide receiver Danny Amendola, running back Dion Lewis and left tackle Nate Solder. The Lewis loss was offset some by the re-signing of Rex Burkhead.

Defensively, New England lost cornerback Malcolm Butler. After his mysterious benching in Super Bowl 52 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Butler’s departure is not a surprise.

Being up against the salary cap has left New England with few options in free agency. They do not have much money to spend and have to get creative when adding talent to the roster. One way to do so is through a trade, which they did once again today.

The Patriots agreed to a trade with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday afternoon. The Patriots acquired cornerback Jason McCourty and the Browns’ 2018 seventh round pick in exchange for the Patriots sixth-round pick in 2018.

The trade was reported by Mary Kay Cabot of

As Cabot points out, this trade reunites twin brothers Jason and Devin McCourty. The two played collegiately together at Rutgers. Jason was the 209th pick by the Tennessee Titans in the 2009 draft, while Devin was selected No. 27 by the Patriots in 2010.

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Earlier in the day, it was actually reported that the Browns were going to release McCourty, whom they signed two-year, $6 million deal last offseason. Instead, the Patriots decided to trade for McCourty.

It is a move some people will question. Why trade for a player that is being released? Well, judging by how things have gone in free agency thus far, the Patriots wanted to ensure that they landed McCourty without having to do battle with other teams.

McCourty will help shore up the Patriots secondary and replace Butler. He was rather productive with Cleveland last season, making 56 solo tackles with 11 assists on tackles. McCourty also had three interceptions, one of which he returned for a 56-yard touchdown. He also added 14 passes defended with two forced fumbles.

McCourty graded out as the No. 17 cornerback according to Pro Football Focus last season. He is a solid addition for the Patriots given his modest salary and production.

Next: 5 Potential Cap Casualties On Patriots

This is the second trade that the Patriots have completed with the Browns this offseason. In the first one, New England acquired defensive tackle Danny Shelton from Cleveland, along with a 2018 fifth-round pick, in exchange for the Patriots 2018 third round pick.