Browns trade Pro Bowl punter Lee to Panthers after return gaffe

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The Carolina Panthers were in search of a punter after veteran Mike Scifres was injured early in Friday's pre-season game against the New England Patriots.

They got one Monday by acquiring three-time NFL Pro Bowler Andy Lee in a trade with the Cleveland Browns.

The Panthers sent a fourth-round draft choice in 2018 and 24-year-old punter Kasey Redfern to Cleveland. They also received a 2017 seventh-round pick from the Browns.

Lee ranks sixth in NFL history with a 46.2 gross punting average and is ninth all-time with 325 punts inside the 20-yard line.

A sixth-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2004, Lee punted in every game through the 2014 season before they traded him to the Browns prior to the 2015 season. With Cleveland, he set a single-season Browns record with a 46.7-yard gross average.

But he fell out of favour with new Browns coach Hue Jackson, who was seen on the sideline scolding Lee after the 13-year veteran did not attempt to run after Tampa Bay's Adam Humphries on a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown. "He's your guy," Jackson told Lee on the sideline. 

"Let's be very honest. We're out there to play," Jackson told reporters after the game. "If there's another guy that has the ball, your job is to go get it.''

Scifres was forced out of Friday's game with a knee injury after getting hit by Patriots defensive back Brandon King on his first attempt. Redfern assumed punting duties for the remainder of the game and made a tackle to stop Cyrus Jones on a 60-yard return. 

Lee, a Pro Bowl selection in 2007, 2009 and 2011, has a 2016 salary cap figure of $2,833,000 with his current deal running through 2018.