By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Devin McCourty has been granted his wish.
The Patriots and Browns have agreed on a trade that will send cornerback Jason McCourty to New England. The teams will swap sixth and seventh-round picks.
Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that the Browns were expected to release the veteran cornerback, which prompted his twin brother to tweet what appeared to be a recruitment signal. The Patriots contacted the Browns before the release was made in order to secure the player. In doing so, the McCourty will be under the same contract he signed with Cleveland last offseason, which will pay him $2.375 million in base salary with a roster bonus close to $550,000.
McCourty, 30, spent one season in Cleveland after playing the first eight years of his career with the Tennessee Titans. He made three interceptions in 14 games for the winless Browns last year while making 65 tackles and forcing two fumbles. Pro Football Focus gave him an 83.9 grade, which was above average. (For comparison, Stephon Gilmore got an 89.4 grade, and Malcolm Butler got a 79.2 grade.) He has 16 interceptions and 86 passes defensed in 122 career games, and he’s yet to play in a postseason game. That’s likely to change in 2018.
The Patriots will be sending the 205th overall pick to Cleveland, and New England will receive the 219th overall pick in return.
The Patriots now have the distinction of employing two sets of twins, as tight end Jake Hollister spent last season on the roster while receiver Cody Hollister was on the practice squad.
New England’s depth chart at cornerback took a hit when Malcolm Butler — as expected — departed via free agency this week. McCourty joins Gilmore, Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones, and Cyrus Jones as corners who figure to compete for playing time in Bill Belichick’s and Brian Flores’ defense.