Veteran defensive tackle Danny Shelton signed a one-year contract with the New York Giants. Shelton, a one-time Super Bowl champion, spent the 2020 season with the Detroit Lions.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 29, 2021
Danny Shelton, New York Giants, Agree to Contract
Following a fantastic 2019 season, Danny Shelton left the New England Patriots to play for the Detroit Lions and head coach Matt Patricia. Unfortunately, the former first-round pick wasn’t able to recapture the magic of his previous season in his new home. Starting in all 12 games, Shelton finished the season with one sack, four quarterback hits, 37 tackles, and two tackles-for-loss. Detroit’s defense was one of the worst in the league, and Shelton ended the year as the 107th best interior defensive lineman, according to Pro Football Focus.
Shelton initially entered the NFL as a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Selected by the Cleveland Browns, the Washington product appeared in all 16 games as a rookie, while making 15 starts. During his time on the field, the defensive tackle recorded 36 tackles, four tackles for loss, and no sacks or quarterback hits. In fairness to Shelton, his job primarily involved eating up double teams and freeing up space for others to make plays and fill the stat sheet.
Shelton stayed in the starting lineup for the remainder of his Cleveland tenure. Over the next two seasons, the massive interior lineman recorded 1.5 sacks, 52 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss, and seven quarterback hits while appearing in 30 out of a possible 32 games. While he was always a solid role player, he never quite lived up to his draft capital. Following the 2017 season, the Browns traded Shelton and a fifth-round pick to the New England Patriots for a third-round pick.
Shelton spent his first year in New England as more of a situational role player. Appearing in 13 games while making one start, the first-year Patriot ended the year with 21 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, one quarterback hit, and no sacks. While this might not have been his most successful individual season, he still managed to cap the year with a Super Bowl championship. New England re-signed Shelton on a one-year deal, and the former first-round pick responded with his best season to date. Appearing in all 16 games, Shelton recorded three sacks, six quarterback hits, 61 tackles, and two tackles-for-loss.
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