Unfortunately for Cody and Jacob Hollister, they no longer hold the title as the only set of twins playing together on the Patriots. New England sent a 2018 6th round pick to the Browns in exchange for cornerback Jason McCourty and a 2018 7th round pick. McCourty is the twin brother of Patriots safety Devin McCourty. The two brothers played together at Rutgers, and now for the first time in the NFL. Jason was drafted by the Titans in the 6th round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent his first eight seasons in Tennessee before signing with the Cleveland Browns last season. He has 16 career interceptions and averages over 50 tackles per season.
McCourty is a solid addition to a New England secondary that had serious questions after a horrific showing in Super Bowl LII. Last season with the Browns McCourty played in 14 games and finished with three interceptions to go along with 65 tackles. In fact, he received a better positional grade from Pro Football Focus for his 2017 season than former Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. He has the size and speed to stay with most receivers in man coverage and will have the benefit of talented safeties behind him. The biggest issue with McCourty will be his age, as he is on the older side at 30. However, if he can have a 2018 season similar to his 2017 season, then the Patriots secondary will certainly be improved. The unit has a strong core of veterans that should be able to put on a better performance than last year as Stephon Gilmore finally started to click on the defense in the second half of 2017.
New England also made the smart move by trading for McCourty rather than letting him hit the market. They simply dropped back two picks from the sixth to the seventh round and kept McCourty at the same contract that he had with the Browns, with a cap hit of just under $3 million. Had the Browns gone through with releasing McCourty, the cornerback would likely have been able to command more on the open market and force the Patriots to have to pony up more money if they wanted to sign him. Instead, they brought in a high character veteran who will fit in well and should provide mild improvements to an embattled New England secondary.
Until next time – B$
P.S. Former Patriots and current Titans cornerback Logan Ryan had the joke of the week – after the trade, Ryan remarked that the Patriots now have the baldest secondary in the league and he is 100% right….Jason McCourty, Devin McCourty, and Patriots safety Duron Harmon are the baldest guys I’ve ever seen.