The Browns made 10 first-round picks between 2009 and 2015. The Patriots can also pick up his fifth-year option for 2019, which would be a yet-to-be-determined salary of the average of the third through 25th highest salaries among defensive linemen.
During his final season with Washington, Shelton registered 93 total stops - 53 solo tackles and 40 assists - with 16.5 tackles for lost yardage, five fumble recoveries and three hits on opposing quarterbacks. Wilson said Mathieu would be a ideal fit in New England, as he is also capable of playing cornerback and inside linebacker in sub-packages. At worst, they added a role player who should see some serious playing time with Alan Branch and Ricky Jean Francois expected to leave in free agency. Acquiring Shelton helps to fill those holes. He was a contributor to their elite run defense in 2017 and graded as a top-20 interior defender against the run according to Pro Football Focus. The unit looked solid in playoff games against Tennessee and Jacksonville, but failed in Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles, who finished with 164 rushing yards and a 6.1 yards per carry average.
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The trade is the fourth by the Browns since Friday.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Browns were shopping Shelton at the trade deadline past year.
Coming into the offseason, one of the big needs for the Patriots was to strengthen their front seven.
None of the trades can become official until March 14 when the new league year begins.