Cleveland Browns not standing pat, trading Danny Shelton to Pats

Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots

New Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has been extremely busy over the last day or so. And the wheeling and dealing continued on Saturday.

On Wednesday afternoon (March 14) at 4:00 p.m. ET, the NFL’s new fiscal year will begin. At that time, quarterback Tyrod Taylor, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Damarious Randall will all officially become members of the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, 2017 rookie signal-caller Deshone Kizer is headed to the Green Bay Packers as part of the Randall trade.

Chalk up another deal for new Browns general manager John Dorsey, who has been amazingly active since Friday. Via ESPN’s Field Yates and Adam Schefter, Cleveland has opted to trade defensive tackle Danny Shelton to the New England Patriots. Schefter reports that the defending AFC champions not only pick up the three-year defender but an undisclosed choice in this April’s draft. Meanwhile, the Browns will get back a mid-round selection in 2019.

Shelton, the 12th overall pick back in 2015, has played in 46 games (missing 2 contests in ’17) and made 44 starts. Following a shaky rookie campaign, he made progress as time wore on. This past season, the Browns finished seventh in the NFL in rushing defense. The 6-foot-2, 343-pound performer earned solid marks from Pro Football Focus the past two years. In 2017, he ranked 19th in the league when it came to run defense among interior linemen.

Meanwhile, that’s extremely good news for Bill Belichick’s team. Yes, the Patriots defense did overcome a shaky start and their rankings could be perceived as deceptive. But the club did finish 20th in the NFL against the run during the regular season. And New England’s defense was gashed for 164 yards on the ground in the Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

While we don’t know at this moment how things will work out for the Browns, Belichick can pair Shelton along with another first-round pick from the Class of 2015 in defensive tackle Malcom Brown. That could very well cure a lot of what ailed the Pats’ defense this past season.

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