The Carolina Panthers have traded for punter Andy Lee of the Cleveland Browns, the team announced the trade on its official Twitter account Monday.
In addition to receiving Lee, the Panthers also acquired a 2017 seventh-round draft pick. The Browns get punter Kasey Redfern, as well as a 2018 fourth-round draft pick. Information on the trade comes from Max Hanson of Panthers.com.
Carolina Panthers Trade for Cleveland Browns Punter Andy Lee
Andy Lee, 34, was criticized by Browns head coach Hue Jackson. He failed to attempt a tackle on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers punt returner last week. The punt was returned 73-yards for a touchdown. Three days later Cleveland shipped the three-time Pro Bowler to the Panthers.
However, league sources report that the lack of an attempt on Lee’s part had absolutely nothing to do with the punter being traded. It had more to do with the Panthers willingness to include a fourth-round pick.
The Panthers lost their starting punter, Mike Scifres, to a knee injury against the New England Patriots Friday. The Panthers were forced to run with Redfern, who is in his first NFL season out of Wofford. He was originally signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free-agent in 2014. He spent part of the 2015 season on the San Diego Chargers practice squad before signing with the Panthers this off-season. In three games this pre-season, he has 12 punts for 562 yards and a 46.8 gross average.
Lee only spent one year with the Cleveland Browns after spending eleven seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He was elected to three Pro Bowls, and was named a first-team All-Pro on three occasions. The San Francisco 49ers drafted Andy Lee out of the University of Pittsburgh in the sixth-round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has been less than pleased with the untested Redfern. He was not pleased with having on unproven punter on the defending NFC Champions.
“He’s a young guy and you’re never really comfortable with young guys, but the truth of the matter is if that’s what we have, that’s what we’re going to do,” Rivera said of the rookie, per David Newton of ESPN.com.
Lee now provides at least some stability to the position. Lee hasn’t missed a single game in his 12-year career. The now former Browns punter ranks eighth in the league with a 46.7 yards per punt last season.
The Cleveland Browns now own the Philadelphia Eagles 2017 first-round draft pick; the Tennessee Titans 2017 second-round draft pick; the New England Patriots 2017 fifth-round draft pick; the Eagles 2018 second-round draft pick and now the Panthers 2018 fourth-round draft pick. The Browns future is certainly looking brighter than it did just a few years ago. With these draft picks they’ve acquired, to go along with their own, fans have a good reason to be hopeful for the first time in a long time.