Browns reportedly showing interest in free agent Jason McCourty
The Cleveland Browns are reportedly meeting with free agent cornerback Jason McCourty, who spent the past eight years with the Tennessee Titans.
The Cleveland Browns depth chart took a hit over the weekend when rookie cornerback Howard Wilson went down with a broken kneecap, an injury that head coach Hue Jackson termed “significant.”
The team won’t know how long Wilson will be out until after surgery to repair the break, so the Browns are looking around for available cornerbacks and, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the club is hosting Jason McCourty for a visit and physical:
McCourty spent the first eight years of his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans, but was released in April for reportedly being unwilling to take a pay cut and the possibility of a decrease in his playing time.
McCourty only played in four games in 2015 because of injuries, but bounced back in 2016 to play in 14 games. He was a middle of the road cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus, which ranked him at No. 55 out of 111 quarterbacks.
The site did highlight a few things that McCourty does well, however:
"While McCourty gave up receptions, he did a good job of keeping his man out of the end zone and limiting yards after the catch. He allowed a touchdown on 3.13 percent of his targets which was 22nd among corners and his 2.95 yards allowed after catch per reception was ninth of 79 qualifiers. Stemming from his ability to limit yards after catch, McCourty has proven to be one of the league’s best tacklers at corner. He had a tackling efficiency of 23.7 which was fourth best among 81 cornerbacks."
The Browns have struggled for years to effectively tackle the opposition, and keeping the other team out of the end zone would be a welcomed development after seeing the Browns give up an average of 28.25 points a game last season.
But McCourty will turn 30 before the start of the 2017 regular season, and players who hit 30 and are not named Joe Thomas are quickly falling out of favor in Berea.
And if he was unhappy with the idea of seeing his playing time cut in Tennessee, it doesn’t seem as if McCourty would be walking into a better situation in Cleveland, where Joe Haden and Jamar Taylor are the starters on the outside and the Browns are looking for players who will still be with the team when the real success starts in 2019.
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The Browns are performing their due diligence following Wilson’s injury, and that’s a good thing. But McCourty still just does not seem like a fit for the team at this time.