The Browns traded punter Andy Lee and a 2017 seventh-round pick to the Panthers on Monday in exchange for the Panthers’ fourth-round pick in 2018 and punter Kasey Redfern. On the surface, this seems like a wholly unremarkable trade. But once you remember what transpired on Friday night, it becomes a bit more interesting.
During the Browns’ preseason loss to the Buccaneers on Friday, Lee became the target of Hue Jackson’s ire when his 52-yard punt was returned 73 yards for a touchdown. The Browns coach wasn’t upset about the result of the play, he was upset with how the play transpired.
At the end of the play, Lee didn’t even try to tackle Adam Humphries.
“(It was) his pursuit,” Jackson said, per Cleveland.com. “Let’s be very honest. We’re out there to play. If there’s another guy that has the ball, your job is to go get it.”
He did not go get it.
And now, Lee — a three-time Pro Bowler — is relocating to Carolina. Of course, there’s one way to know if that’s the reason for Lee’s departure (a fourth-round pick for a punter might’ve just been way too tempting to turn down). For what it’s worth, Lee did try to make a tackle later in the game, which Jackson appreciated. And in fairness to Lee, it probably doesn’t make much sense for a punter to risk injury by tackling in the preseason.
Then again, this is Jackson’s team we’re talking about.
#Browns Hue Jackson said he’ll have a siren at camp to signal full-contact period. “Anything goes. We’ll get after it.”
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) June 7, 2016
Regardless of the reason behind the trade, it worked out well for everyone. The Browns turned a 34-year-old punter into a 2018 fourth-round pick, the Panthers got a proven punter after losing Mike Scifres to a knee injury, and Lee goes from the Browns to a contender.
Plus, the move won’t be too tough on him.
Well, Andy Lee and his family already had a permanent home in Charlotte. So that saves on moving expenses!
— Black & Blue Review (@BlackBlueReview) August 29, 2016
Source: CBS Sports / Browns trade Pro Bowl punter, who wimped out of a tackle, to Panthers