CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns sent linebacker Demario Davis back to the New York Jets Thursday morning for defensive back Calvin Pryor.
Davis signed a 2-year, $8 million deal last offseason as an unrestricted free agent after he spent the first 4 years of his career with the Jets.
“Demario is a guy that we developed the utmost respect for in his time with our team, not only as a professional but also as a person,” executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said. “We appreciate all he did for our organization in his time in Cleveland.”
Davis finished second behind Christian Kirksey on the team with 99 tackles last year. He also added 2 sacks, 2 passes defensed and a forced fumble during a 1-15 season that saw the Browns’ defense rank near the bottom in just about every meaningful statistical category.
Davis posted a thank you to the Browns and Cleveland fans on his official Instagram account after the trade was announced.
I want to thank Jimmy and Dee Haslem, Sashi Brown, Andrew Berry, and Hue Jackson for giving me the opportunity to spend an amazing year with the Cleveland Browns. I have nothing but good things to say about this 1st class organization, that's on its way to shocking the world. To my brothers in the lockerroom; the stage is set, go make it happen. In this past year, I've grown as a person and a player in ways that wouldn't have happened in any other circumstance. For that I'm thankful to the one who's in control, the man upstairs. Be blessed Cleveland! New York City 🎉 #ImComingHome
Pryor was picked 18th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft but he became expendable when the Jets drafted safeties Jamal Adams (No. 6 overall) and Marcus Maye (No. 39) in April.
“Calvin is a young-experienced safety that has upside,” Brown said. “We are pleased to be able to add him to our defensive back room and just like every player we acquire, we expect him to come in with a hard-working mindset ready to compete.”
Pryor started 38 of 44 career games for the Jets where he totaled 184 tackles, 2 interceptions, 14 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and 1/2 sack.
The addition of Pryor presents some interesting options and questions for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
By moving Davis, a hole at middle linebacker opens up.
Jamie Collins is penciled in as the strongside linebacker and Kirksey at weakside linebacker. It is possible that Jabrill Peppers, picked 25th overall, could move up from strong safety to help out in the box in some of Williams’ defensive packages when Pryor is on the field.
The free safety job is also up for grabs as Ed Reynolds and Tyvis Powell are expected to compete for it but cornerback Jason McCourty, who signed a two-year, $6 million contract last month, could also move to free safety.
The trade certainly adds what Williams loves – more moving parts and flexibility.