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Devin McCourty: Patriots might have traded their best defensive player

The New England Patriots trading Jamie Collins caught plenty of people by surprise. Included in that group is his now former teammate, Devin McCourty.

“Jamie is arguably our best defensive player,” McCourty said on CSN New England. “When you get a guy like Jamie who was here for four years on the team, a very productive player, to lose him is a bit shocking to everybody on the team.”

This is the kind of trade that doesn’t make sense at first. The Patriots are arguably the NFL’s best team. Why are they trading a player to a bad team for a draft pick?

But with the passing of even just a few hours, it began to make more sense. Collins has been good for New England throughout his career, but has not had a particularly strong 2016 season. Reports also came out that he was seeking “Von Miller money” at the end of the season (read more about that here).

McCourty’s surprise is certainly understandable. But it’s also hard to argue too much with the move from the Pats’ perspective.

The better question, perhaps, is why are the winless Cleveland Browns trading a third-round draft pick for a player in his contract year? The Browns certainly aren’t buyers, but this is not the kind of deal that makes any sense for a seller.