First of all, the timing is fascinating. Not on the Panthers’ end; their expected punter, Mike Scifres, suffered a knee injury against the New England Patriots and had to leave the game. But for the Browns, they could not have enjoyed watching Lee, their former Pro Bowl punter, completely dog it on a 73-yard punt return touchdown by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Adam Humphries.
Like, Lee didn’t even try to get near the guy. Now that said, it’s likely that the Browns were in the position of more veteran cost cutting where they felt an expensive punter was a big luxury for a team that’s likely to not be excellent this season. But don’t put it past Browns head coach Hue Jackson for cutting a guy — even in the preseason, making a business decision — for poor effort.
But second of all, it’s interesting to note what the Panthers gave up to get Lee. They traded a fourth-round pick in 2018 and punter Kasey Redfern for Lee and a seventh-rounder this season. Heck, Lee might not even be a Panther when the Browns finally use that pick, but we suppose if it helps them in the short term it could be an OK move. After all, this is a team that lost in a close Super Bowl about seven months ago.
Redfern has a big leg but outkicked his coverage this preseason. But let’s put it this way: Are we going to look back at season’s end and say the Browns hurt themselves with this move? No way; if anything, this will be one of those really smart deals that we look back at two years from now and say, “All hail Moneyball” or something similar.
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