The Cleveland Browns have once again made another trade.
This time, they are sending defensive tackle Danny Shelton and a 2018 fifth-round pick to the New England Patriots in-exchange for a 2018 third-round pick. The deal was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN.
Under NFL rules, the trade can’t be officially be completed until March 14, the start of the NFL’s new league year. This trade will become the fourth trade completed by the Browns in two days, joining yesterday’s deals that brought in Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor, and Damarious Randall.
Shelton, who was the 12th overall pick by Cleveland in the 2015 NFL Draft hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype, but earned the high draft selection almost three full years ago because of his strength at the line of the scrimmage, and his excellent stoppage of the running game at the line.
The 24-year-old Shelton earned a base salary of $1.4 million last season with the Browns, and is set to earn $2 million in 2018. New England holds the option of picking-up Shelton’s fifth-year option for the 2019 season, which would make his base salary an average of the third through 25th highest salaries among defensive lineman in the NFL.
Acquiring Shelton already helps to fill a void on the Patriots defensive line after the team decided not to pick their option on Alan Branch for the 2018 season. Cleveland now does not have a single one of their own first-round picks on their roster from 2009-2015. Here’s a list at all of their first-round selections in that time frame: (h/t SB Nation)
2009: C Alex Mack – Left via free agency (2015)
2010: CB Joe Haden – Cut (2017)
2011: DT Phil Taylor – Cut (2015)
2012: RB Trent Richardson – Traded (2013) & QB Brandon Weeden – Cut (2014)
2013: LB Barkevious Mingo – Traded (2016)
2014: CB Justin Gilbert – Traded (2016) & QB Johnny Manziel – Cut (2016)
2015: C Cameron Erving – Traded (2017) & DT Danny Shelton – Traded (2018)
Cleveland has also reportedly been shopping Shelton on the trading block for a while now, as he was available via trade back in October ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline. The Denver Broncos were among the teams interested in trading for Shelton then, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
In 13 games for the Browns in 2017, Shelton recorded 34 total tackles and 6 stuffs.
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