Jason McCourty should help a poor Browns secondary
McCourty signed a 2-year, $6 million deal with $2 million of that guaranteed. He is entering his 9th season in the NFL and played his college ball at Rutgers. He has average size at 5’11”, 195 but is a big addition to a unit that struggled mightily in 2016. During his career, he has logged 517 tackles, 13 INTs, and 91 pass defenses. Last season in Tennessee he led the team with 18 pass defenses and added 64 tackles.
He is a low-cost, low-risk veteran presence who became a necessary signing after Browns 4th round pick Howard Wilson suffered a freak injury, fracturing his patella in non-contact work during rookie mini-camp, and will likely miss most, if not all, of the 2017 season.
As a Browns fan, this signing is another encouraging sign that Cleveland is becoming a place people want to play, as McCourty likely could have signed with a handful of teams once training camp rolled around, including the Patriots who currently have his brother Devin on the roster. Jason also said some very positive things about the direction of the team:
“After taking my visit it became clear what is brewing within this organization in Cleveland. For me, that made it an easy decision. Obviously, I had a year of experience with Gregg Williams so I know how crazy he is and how much energy he brings to the table. I know what his defenses consist of. In talking with Sashi (Brown) and coach Hue Jackson, it was obvious. The energy flowed through the entire building with everybody I talked to all the way to the players. I want to be a part of something where I felt like I am wanted and where I feel like I’m part of a family. This was an easy decision for me.”
He adds some much-needed depth to the Browns secondary, which ranked at or near dead last in just about every major statistical category in the NFL in 2016. McCourty will likely play corner for the Browns, starting opposite of Joe Haden if he can beat out Jamar Taylor for the job. Either way, with the injury issues Haden has had recently, expect to see a lot of McCourty, who to be fair, has had his share of injury issues as well. An interesting wrinkle when it comes to where he will play is that he allegedly told the Titans he would not play FS but he told Browns reporters he would learn other positions besides corner in order to maximize his impact.
It appears Sashi Brown was not kidding when he told the Cleveland media that just because the draft had wrapped up, that did not mean the Browns were done adding pieces to a quickly improving puzzle. Hopefully, he still has another big signing or two up his sleeve.