With so many positions to worry about, one NFL team has decided to get rid of their punter. According to NBC Sports, the Cleveland Browns are trading Andy Lee to the Carolina Panthers. New head coach Hue Jackson apparently was not very happy with Lee during a play in a preseason game.
The official deal has the Cleveland Browns giving up the rights to Andy Lee and a seventh round draft pick in 2017. In return, the Carolina Panthers are giving up Kasey Redfern and a fourth round draft pick in 2018. Getting a fourth round draft pick for a punter is a good look for an NFL team.
Kasey Redfern is essentially an unproven commodity in the NFL. Though he has been with the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers, Redfern has yet to actually play in a regular season game. With no other punter on the roster, Redfern might start for the Cleveland Browns.
Hue Jackson was not very pleased with Andy Lee after the preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Friday. Adam Humphries was able to return a punt for a touchdown. During the play, Lee did not put a lot of effort in trying to make the tackle. Jackson went off on Lee afterwards.
Hue Jackson must have been pretty upset if he is willing to give up one of the better punters in the history of the NFL. Andy Lee has been to the Pro Bowl three times and has been named an All Pro once. His gross punting average of 46.2 yards has him ranked sixth in history.
To his credit, Andy Lee did attempt to tackle the punt return after being chewed out on the sidelines by Hue Jackson. Weighing just 185 pounds, Lee hurled himself on to Bernard Reedy. It was not a pretty sight, but Lee did at least attempt to do what Jackson asked of him.
The Carolina Panthers are unlikely to ask Andy Lee to take a lot of risk when it comes to tackling. One of the main reasons why they made the trade with the Cleveland Browns is because they recently witnessed Mike Scifres go down with a knee injury after taking a hit from the New England Patriots.
Special teams have to be quite the priority for the Carolina Panthers if they are willing to give up a fourth round draft pick for a punter. NFL executives and coaches believe that you can find a player that can contribute on the field during that round, so those picks are hard to pry away from other teams.
Monday was a pretty busy day for the Cleveland Browns. Not only did they send away Andy Lee, the team also got rid of Travis Coons, who was the kicker last season. The Browns are more than likely going with Patrick Murray, the free agent kicker that they signed from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in June.
K’Waun Williams was another roster casualty, as the Cleveland Browns are trying to trim down to just 75 players before Tuesday. Williams functioned as the nickel back last season. There are talks that Williams may consider retirement from the NFL because of issues with his ankle.
Paul Kruger was one of the biggest names in the NFL that was released over the weekend. He was a starting outside linebacker for the Cleveland Browns. However, the team felt that it would be best to go with younger players who are on cheaper contracts.
Andy Lee is going from one of the worst teams in the NFL to a team that was just in the Super Bowl a couple of months ago. Things are going pretty good for the punter.
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