Another day, another Browns trade. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that Cleveland has traded defensive tackle Danny Shelton to the Patriots for a conditional draft pick. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the Browns will receive a 2019 third-round pick from the Patriots, while New England added a 2018 fifth-round pick from Cleveland. The two teams had been discussing the trade for several days, reports TheMMQB’s Albert Breer (via Twitter).
The 2015 first-round pick has spent the past three seasons in Cleveland, starting 45 of his 46 appearances. Following a productive campaign in 2016, Shelton’s numbers took a step back in 2017, as he finished the season with 33 tackles and zero sacks in 14 games. After ranking Shelton favorably during his sophomore season, Pro Football Focus listed him 35th among 122 interior defender candidates following his 2017 performance.
Still, 6-foot-2, 335-pound Shelton will provide the Patriots with a big-body replacement for Alan Branch. The 24-year-old, who is set to earn a base salary of $2.03MM in 2018, will presumably slide into the Patriots starting lineup, displacing either Lawrence Guy or former first-rounder Malcom Brown. New England is also rostering Vincent Valentine and Adam Butler. As ESPN’s Mike Reiss tweets, Shelton has shown the ability to perform in various schemes, and Bill Belichick will surely appreciate the lineman’s versatility. The Patriots will also have to decide whether they want to pick up Shelton’s fifth-year option by early May. As NESN’s Doug Kyed tweets, the project cost for a defensive tackle will be around $7MM.
This is the Browns fourth trade in less than 24 hours. Yesterday, the Browns completed deals for Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor, and Damarious Randall, and they sent out 2017 second-rounder DeShone Kizer in the process. With Shelton now out of the picture, the Browns are rostering four defensive tackles: Larry Ogunjobi, Trevon Coley, Caleb Brantley, and Jeremy Faulk.
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