Cleveland Browns sign DB Jason McCourty, kicker



May 17 (UPI) — Defensive back Devin McCourty joined the Cleveland Browns on a two-year contract.

The Tennessee Titans cut the free agent defender on April 13. McCourty, 29, was a sixth-round pick by the Titans in the 2009 NFL Draft. He had 67 tackles, two interceptions and defended 12 passes last season. McCourty has played his entire eight-year career for the Titans, starting 90 games.

The Browns announced the signing Wednesday.

“After taking my visit it became clear what is brewing within this organization in Cleveland,” McCourty said in a release from the Browns. “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 [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] 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.”

The Browns waived defensive back Donte Carey to make room for the move. McCourty’s new deal is for $6 million, according to NFL.com. It includes $2 million guaranteed.

McCourty was Tennessee’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2014. His twin brother Devin McCourty is a defensive back for the New England Patriots. Jason was linked to the Patriots this offseason.

“We’re glad to add Jason to our defensive back field,” Brown said in a statement. “He’s a talented player who has had a lot of success in this league. He’s a good fit for our team and we feel his experience and versatility will be an asset for our defense.”

The Browns also agreed to terms with kicker Zane Gonzalez. Gonzalez was a seventh-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He played at Arizona State, winning the 2016 Lou Groza Award.

The move will improve the team’s depth at the position after it lost fourth-round cornerback Howard Wilson to a broken kneecap in rookie minicamp.

McCourty is expected to start opposite of Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden. Cleveland also has Jamar Taylor and Briean Boddy-Calhoun on its depth chart.

The Browns went 1-15 last season with the fourth-worst pass defense in the AFC. Cleveland allowed a league-high 36 passing touchdowns.



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