New England Patriots: Declining option on Danny Shelton was right move
By Nick Ziegler
The New England Patriots recently declined the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Danny Shelton. Was this the right move?
This offseason, the New England Patriots needed to make some upgrades on their defense. After being exposed by the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, the Patriots made some notable changes on the defensive side of the ball.
One of the big additions was acquiring Danny Shelton from the Cleveland Browns. Shelton was a former first-round pick of the Browns and was brought in to upgrade the defensive line. As a defensive tackle, Shelton is one of the biggest in the league at his position and should help the Patriots improve at defending the run.
While Shelton is certainly a good run defender, he doesn’t bring much to the table on passing downs, and likely will not see a ton of snaps on third down. Shelton is still on his rookie deal after the trade from the Browns, and the Patriots inherited that with his fifth-year option. However, at $7.1 million, the Patriots declined that option.
This is certainly a risk for the Patriots, as Shelton will now be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season. However, that would have been a lofty price to pay for a defensive tackle. Even though Shelton is a good player, this seems like a good risk to take for the Patriots. Giving $7 million a season to Shelton might be above his market value, and the Patriots are always going to be careful with their cap.
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With players like Damon Harrison of the New York Giants making just over $9 million per season, he is a more complete player than Shelton at this time. If Shelton has a great season for New England in 2018, this will have been a mistake. However, it certainly seems like the right move at this time for the Patriots.