Happy NFL New Year as the 2018 “league year” began yesterday. It began with some splashy moves including a former Scarlet Knight standout on the move.
The New England Patriots have acquired Jason McCourty from the Cleveland Browns in a draft pick swap that will join him with his twin brother, Devin McCourty. The twins were both standout cornerbacks for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights before embarking on lengthy NFL careers. They had both previously tried to recruit one another for a reunion in the pro ranks.
The Patriots had a need at cornerback after Malcom Butler elected to sign with the Tennessee Titans, who previously added former Patriot and Scarlet Knight Logan Ryan one year ago. McCourty joins a number of veteran corners in New England that play alongside a three-headed monster at safety, including Devin and ballhawking former Scarlet Knight Duron Harmon. So for the second time in three seasons, the Patriots will have three defensive backs from Rutgers on the roster. Last time, it ended with a Super Bowl ring.
Jason’s career in the NFL began when the Tennessee Titans as a sixth round pick in 2009. He had been a starter since Day 1 before joining Cleveland and starting all 14 games he played there in 2017. He has 16 career interceptions, eight forced fumbles, and three defensive touchdowns.
The Cleveland Browns were one of the most active teams adding free agents in 2016, including former Scarlet Knight Kenny Britt and Jason. Despite the additions, the team finished an NFL record-tying 0-16 on the year. This off-season, Cleveland has attempted to shuffle the deck with a number of trades to turnover their roster. Britt (signed midseason) and McCourty have now gone from the bottom of the AFC, to the top in New England. Ironically, Britt (1st round) and McCourty were drafted by Tennessee in the same draft, so this will be their third different NFL stop as teammates.
Jason wished Cleveland well on twitter:
Cleveland it’s been real! I wish nothing but the best to the guys in that locker room! Thank you to the Haslam’s and the organization for giving me the opportunity to lead and do what I love last season! #DawgPound (J-Mac) pic.twitter.com/exDm7SvWuB— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) March 15, 2018